Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Resiliency, while historically grounded and defined, lacks important conceptual clarity when considering the area of sexual abuse resiliency. Considerable theoretical effort has been dedicated to this phenomena in certain specific areas of human development (e.g., children) with empirical endeavors to validate it's relevance. To date there seems to be consensus with the notion that three specific variables are correlated with resiliency outcomes, namely, biological, psychological and social influences. It is posited that these three primary variables and their substantive variables independently, as well as interactively, buffer the effects of abuse one may experience during the course of a life time. It is the intent of this Honors Thesis to initially examine the realm of abuse in general with focused attention on sexual abuse. Secondly, biological, psychological and social variables which may be associated with resiliency will be examined. Finally, a methodology for further examination of the impact of these three variables will be posited.



Faculty Mentor

D. Kim Openshaw