Award Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Criminal Justice

Advisor 1

Alexis Kennedy

Advisor 2

Andrew Hanson

Advisor 3

Gillian Pinchevsky

Number of Pages



The impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) and traumatic sexual experiences has been the subject of multiple studies in which harm was found. Among these harms are emotional distress, psychological issues, and substance abuse. This research analyzed and compared the responses to questions pertaining to substance use and attitudes regarding sexual interactions between college aged students with and without a history of sexual abuse. The participant’s answers were run through an ANOVA to determine statistical variance. Based on prior research, it was expected that victims consume alcohol and use drugs more frequently than non-victims in significant amounts. The findings in this research were not as expected in regards to substance use due to the fact that only drug use showed any statistical significance between the victims and non-victims and only between the two female groups and not the males. The difference between the groups in regards to their attitudes regarding sexual interaction was also unexpected, showing that female victims have more casual attitudes about sex than do their non-abused counterparts.


Child sexual abuse; College students; College students--Alcohol use; College students--Drug use; College students--Substance use; Sexual abuse victims; Sexually abused children; Substance abuse


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Legal Studies | Mental and Social Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction