Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)
First Advisor/Committee Member
Lynette H. Bikos, PhD, ABPP
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Jacob Bentley, PhD, ABPP
Third Advisor/Committee Member
Jelena A. Vranjin, PhD
Sexual assault is a public health issue that can impact one’s resilience. Using a multisystemic approach to resilience, there may be person-level and environment-level factors that can affect one’s resilience, such as one’s coping self-efficacy, satisfaction with the court process, and negative effects associated with court process. Legal advocacy programs, such as those offered by the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC), support clients during the court proceedings. In order to better serve KCSARC’s clientele, it is helpful to understand how the legal advocacy program impacts post-trauma resilience. This dissertation had three phases: (a) evaluating the structural validity of secondary victimization, resilience, and psychological stress measures; (b) conducting a serial mediation to see if court outcome satisfaction, secondary victimization, and sexual assault coping self-efficacy mediated the relationship between legal advocacy satisfaction on resilience; and (c) determining if race/ethnicity moderated the serial mediation. Participants were at least 13 years old, cis-women clients in the KCSARC legal advocacy program who spoke English (N = 87). Although the design of the program evaluation is longitudinal, data was taken from only one of the waves that the participant completed. The psychometric evaluation of the secondary victimization, resilience, and psychological stress measures in this dissertation supported their use in similar settings. Results suggested a significant indirect effect from legal advocacy satisfaction to resilience, through court outcome satisfaction, secondary victimization, and resilience. Even though the moderated serial mediation was statistically non-significant, results indicated that the mechanism was statistically significant for White/Caucasian participants, but not for Racial/Ethnic Minorities. Legal advocates may better serve their clients by having information specifically related to court outcomes and psychoeducation on secondary victimization; and by improving their relationship with their clients to notice the signs of secondary victimization and highlight their client’s coping self-efficacy and resilience. Limitations include self-selection bias, completion rates, artificially inflated fit indices associated with allowing errors to covary, and confounding variables associated COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should focus on validating the measures used across demographic factors and analyzing changes in variables over time.
Gebregiorgis, Desta T., "Examining the Factors that Mediate the Relationship from Legal Advocacy Satisfaction to Resilience" (2020). Clinical Psychology Dissertations. 59.