Objective: The current study examined attention bias toward threat in Hispanic college women exposed to lifetime sexual victimization in childhood, adulthood, and both childhood and adulthood. Response latencies and attention bias scores were compared between victimized and non-victimized individuals.
Design: Participants were 20 women exposed to adulthood sexual victimization (AS group), 15 exposed to childhood sexual victimization (CS group), 8 exposed to both childhood and adulthood sexual assault (revictimization: RV group), and 20 not endorsing sexual victimization (NS group). They were asked to complete the dot-probe task.
Results: The CS group and RV group were combined to create the CS-RV group. Among the AS and CS-RV groups, response latencies were faster when attention was engaged to threat than when attention was engaged to non-threat. The NS group did not demonstrate such differences. When response latencies were compared among the three groups, the CS-RV group had slower response latencies than the NS group. The CS-RV and AS groups revealed similarly significantly elevated bias scores towards threat words than the NS group.
Conclusion: Hispanic college women exposed to lifetime sexual victimization display elevated levels of attention bias compared to non-victimized women. Further, the current findings align with an integrative cognitive model for explaining maladaptive informational processing in trauma victims.
Hirai, M., Hernandez, E. N., Villarreal, D. Y., & Clum, G. A. (2021). Attentional Bias Toward Threat in Sexually Victimized Hispanic Women: A Dot Probe Study. Journal of trauma & dissociation : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD), 1–14. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2021.1989108
Journal of trauma & dissociation : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD)