Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lahnna Catalino

Reader 2

Qutayba Abdullatif

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A study will be conducted to determine whether Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), improves the sexual well-being of survivors of sexual assault by decreasing experiential avoidance. The hypotheses for this study are that 1) Levels of reported sexual well-being will increase in participants in the ACT condition; 2) Based on ACT’s explicit emphasis on reduction of experiential avoidance (Hayes, 1999; Hayes, 2016), it is hypothesized that levels of reported avoidance will decrease in participants in the ACT condition; 3) Due to the link between avoidance and sexual problems in female survivors of sexual assault proposed by Ensink & Van Berlo (2000), it is hypothesized that avoidance will act as a mediator in the relationship between ACT and sexual well-being such that lower levels of avoidance will be correlated with higher levels of sexual well-being. A minimum of 128 female college students who have survived sexual violence will be recruited and randomly assigned to receive either the ACT condition or the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) condition, which will serve as a control. Prior to experiencing therapy, participants will take the Demographic and Sexual History Questionnaire, adapted from Byers & Lemieux, 2008. After going through therapy, participants will take a survey measuring sexual well-being and avoidance. Since there are no established measures for sexual well-being, it will be measured by creating a composite score from three measures: sexual self-esteem, sexual functioning, and sexual anxiety.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.