The Trauma of Cyber-Sexual Assault: Heightened Dimensions of Emotional Dysregulation Among Survivors.


  • Kelley Holladay Jacksonville University
  • W Bryce Hagedorn University of Central Florida
  • David Boote University of Central Florida
  • David T Lardier University of New Mexico


While cyber-sexual assault (CBSA) is prevalent, little research explores how it influences mental health outcomes. In this study, we explore cyber-sexual assault survivors’ varying levels of emotional dysregulation in relation to depression and posttraumatic stress. Using latent class analysis, this study examined the association cluster group membership (i.e., high PTSD and high depression; moderate PTSD and moderate depression; low PTSD and low depression) had on levels of emotional dysregulation symptomology in this sample. These three distinct cluster groups emerged, and we examined how each of the three groups influenced the five constructs of emotional dysregulation. Findings indicate that those CBSA survivors with high depression and PTSD were more at risk for experiencing emotional dysregulation across all five constructs. Using this cross-sectional, correlational analysis, our study critically highlights that CBSA may influence distress similar to other forms of sexual abuse, and across the five dimensions of emotional dysregulation.