Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Elissa J Brown

Second Advisor

Andrea Bergman

Third Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe


The prevalence of sexual violence, particularly in emerging adult women, is alarming (Sinozich & Langton, 2014; Smith et al., 2017), and rates of treatment seeking are low (e.g., Smith et al., 2010). Engagement strategies and motivational interviewing have garnered support in mitigating barriers to mental health treatment-seeking (e.g., Lerch et al., 2017). However, young college women often do not seek treatment for symptoms following sexual violence due to additional barriers such as shame and institutional betrayal (Holland, 2019; Logan et al, 2005). Lack of treatment can lead to long-term detriments (e.g., Halpern et al., 2018) and there is little research on what strategies are effective in getting these survivors into therapy. The current study aimed to address this gap by examining the efficacy of a technology-delivered engagement intervention, Reaching and Empowering Survivors to Engage in Treatment (RESET, Huntt, 2020), in a randomized controlled trial with sexual violence survivors in college. We conducted logistic and linear regressions to examine the efficacy of RESET compared to a psychoeducational control in improving treatment-seeking in female sexual violence survivors, ages 18-24 (N = 78). Results demonstrated no significant effects of intervention condition on treatment-seeking behaviors, χ2(8) = .819, p = .365, R2 = .011, or readiness to change, F(1,65) = 2.08, p = .154, R2 = .023. However, several constructs emerged as predictors in these regression models. Race/Ethnicity showed a trend toward significant prediction of treatment-seeking behaviors, χ2(3) = 7.30, p = .063, R2 = .119. Based on odds ratios, participants who identified as minority race (i.e., Asian or Black/African American) were 82% less likely to seek treatment than those who identified as multiracial (i.e., two or more races/ethnicities), Exp(B) = .18, p = .023. There was also a trend for participants who identified as minority race to report higher scores (M = 8.06; SD = 1.96) on for readiness to change than those who identified as multiracial (M = 9.93; SD = 1.38). Perceived value of treatment and PTSD symptoms at baseline positively predictive predicted readiness to change. These findings highlight clinical implications and potential adaptations to RESET to improve its efficacy.