Black Teenage Girls’ Experiences with Sexual Coercion: Context, Coping, and Consequences

Bryana H. French, Helen A. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the link between sexual coercion and psychobehavioral outcomes among 117 black teenage girls. A little over half of the sample reported at least one sexually coercive experience, including experiences in which verbal and physical threats and alcohol or drugs were involved. Findings from hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that sexually coercive experiences accounted for a significant amount of variance in self-esteem, general mental health, and risky sexual practices; the index capturing sexually coercive experiences involving alcohol was a unique predictor of each of the three psychobehavioral indicators assessed in this study, even after we controlled for the influence of childhood sexual abuse. In addition, disengaged coping was found to mediate the relation between sexual coercion and overall mental health. Themes from brief narratives provided by a subsample of the participants are provided to further describe the types of sexual coercion that black teenage girls experience.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-98
Number of pages22
JournalBlack Women, Gender + Families
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


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