Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Beverly White, PsyD, Chair

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Hembree, PhD


Theory and research suggest that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may disrupt intimate relationships of survivors of trauma. Nevertheless, little empirical research has examined the role of PTSD and how it affects intimate relationships of survivors of sexual assault. This study utilized selected measures to examine the degree to which symptoms and treatment(s) for PTSD contribute to relationship satisfaction in female survivors of sexual assault. Overall, the severity of PTSD predicted relationship maladjustment at baseline, which is consistent with past research findings. More specifically, avoidance and arousal were found to be the most robust predictors of relationship maladjustment. This study also revealed that improved self-reported symptoms of PTSD contributed to improved self-report relationship adjustment. Lastly, this study found that regardless of type, the quality of relationships improved over time with PTSD treatment.