Sex-specific associations between self-reported physical activity and PTSD among survivors of sexual violence

Michelle M. Pebole, Chelsea R. Singleton, Katherine S. Hall, Steven J. Petruzzello, Alston Reginald, Brian N. Smith, James W. Whitworth, Robyn L. Gobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined sex-specific associations between sexual violence (SV) type and physical activity, and identified associations between PTSD symptoms and physical activity, all among cisgender men and women survivors of SV. Cross-sectional data from men (n = 197) and women (n = 356) survivors of SV were analyzed with stratified (men; women) hierarchical logistic regressions. Additionally, fully adjusted models for the total sample included interaction terms to further assess whether associations between SV type as well as PTSD symptoms (sum, clusters) and physical activity differed significantly by sex. Sexual assault was negatively associated with physical activity in the crude model among women (ORs: 0.58; p < 0.05). Harassment was positively associated with physical activity in the crude and adjusted models (ORs:1.92–2.16; ps<0.05) among women. Among men, there were no significant relationships. Regarding PTSD symptoms among women, crude and adjusted stratified models identified significant positive relationships with intrusion (ORs: 1.18–1.22; ps<0.05). Crude and adjusted models revealed significant positive relationships between avoidance and activity (ORs:1.38–1.41; ps<0.05) among men but not women. The interaction term for this difference in the association between avoidance and physical activity by sex was significant (OR: 0.65; 95%CI: 0.48–0.88; p < 0.01). Overall, findings provide evidence for sex-specific associations between SV and physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-231
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Exercise
  • Health behavior
  • Health promotion
  • Prevention
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • General Psychology


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