Longitudinal Research With Sexual Assault Survivors: A Methodological Review


Campbell R, Sprague HB, Cottrill S, Sullivan CM. Longitudinal Research With Sexual Assault Survivors: A Methodological Review. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2010;26 (3) :433-461.



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Longitudinal research designs are relatively rare in the academic literature on rape and sexual assault despite their tremendous methodological rigor and scientific utility. In the interest of promoting wider use of such methods, we conducted a methodological review of projects that have used prospective longitudinal designs to study the occurrence of sexual victimization throughout the lifespan and/or the process of change during rape recovery (N = 32 projects). Five questions were examined: (a) What were the substantive foci of these longitudinal studies? (b) How were survivors recruited? (c) What participation rates were typical? (d) How long were participants followed over time and with what success rates? and (e) What incentives were used to increase participation? Most studies focused on postassault sequelae and recruited survivors from hospital emergency departments and other first-response help-seeking sites with highly variable participation rates. Retention rates were comparable across studies (approximately 70%).

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Last updated on 12/18/2015