Antonia Abbey - Professor & Area Chair of Cognitive, Developmental and Social Psychology

Link to CV

Social Perceptions and Health Lab

My research applies social psychological theory and research to health issues.   I have a long-standing interest in understanding and preventing violence against women. 

Current Research Interests

  • Sexual assault perpetrators: What psychosocial factors increase men's likelihood of being sexually aggressive? What is alcohol's role in sexual aggression?
  • Sexual assault survivors: What psychosocial factors enhance and hinder women's recovery from sexual assault victimization? What is alcohol's role?   
  • Alcohol and sexual risk-taking: How does intoxication influence adolescents' and young adults' sexual risk taking?  
  • Sexual perception and misperception: How do people decide if someone else is sexually attracted to them?  What factors affect the accuracy of these judgments?
  • Women's health and health-related behavior.
  • Substance abuse prevention for adolescents and young adults.  

To address these questions, I integrate a variety of different theoretical models from social psychology, alcohol studies, developmental psychology, stress and coping research, and criminal justice.

Teaching Interests

  • Undergraduate:  Health Psychology (PSY 2410), Psychology of Women (PSY 3250)
  • Graduate:  Health Psychology I (PSY 8300), Interdisciplinary Research Methods (PSY 7470), Social Psychological Theory and Research on Close Relationships (PSY 7645), Psychology of Women (PSY 8600)

Selected Recent Publications

Swartout, K.M., Koss, M.P., White, J.W., Thompson, M.P., Abbey, A., Bellis, A.L. (in press). A trajectory analysis of the campus serial rapist assumption. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. 

Wegner, R., Abbey, A., Pierce, J., Pegram, S.E., & Woerner, J. (in press). Sexual assault perpetrators’ justifications for their actions: Relationships to rape supportive attitudes, incident characteristics, and future perpetration, Violence Against Women. doi:10.1177/1077801215589380

Abbey, A., & Wegner, R. (in press). Using experimental paradigms to examine alcohol’s role in man’s sexual aggression: Opportunities and challenges in the selection of proxies. Violence Against Women. doi:10.1177/1077801215589378

Jacques-Tiura, A.J., Abbey, A., Wegner, R., Pierce, J., Pegram, S.E., & Woerner, J. (2015). Friends matter: Protective and harmful aspects of male friendships associated with past year sexual aggression in a community sample of young men. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 1001-1007. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302472

Hayman, L.W., McIntyre, R., & Abbey, A. (2015). The bad taste of social ostracism: The effects of exclusion on the eating behaviors of African American women. Psychology and Health, 30, 518-533. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2014.983923

Abbey, A., Wegner, R., Woerner, J., Pegram, S.E., & Pierce, J. (2014). Review of survey and experimental research that examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and men’s sexual aggression perpetration. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 15, 265-282.  doi:10.1177/1524838014521031

Wegner, R., Pierce, J., & Abbey, A. (2014). Relationship type and sexual precedence: Their associations with perpetrators and sexual assault characteristics. Violence Against Women, 20, 1360-1382.  doi:10.1177/1077801214552856

Graham, K., Bernards, S., Osgood, D.W., Parks, M., Abbey, A., Felson, R.B., Saltz, R.F., & Wells, S. (2013). Apparent motives for aggression in the social context of the bar. Psychology of Violence, 3, 218-232.  doi: 10.1037/a0029677

White, J.W., Yuan, N.P., Cook, S.L., & Abbey, A. (2013). Ethnic minority women’s experiences with intimate partner violence: Using community-based participatory research methods to ask the right questions. Sex Roles, 69, 226-236.  doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0237-0

Abbey, A., Wegner, R., Pierce, J., & Jacques-Tiura, A.J. (2012). Patterns of sexual aggression in a community sample of young men: Risk factors associated with persistence, desistance, and initiation over a one year interval. Psychology of Violence, 2, 1-15.  doi:10.1037/a0026346 

Abbey, A., Jacques-Tiura, A.J., & LeBreton, J. (2011). Risk factors for sexual aggression in young men: An expansion of the confluence model. Aggressive Behavior, 37, 1-15. doi:10.1002/ab.20399

Abbey, A. (2011). Alcohol and dating risk factors for sexual assault: Double standards are still alive and well entrenched. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 362-368. doi:10.1177/0361684311404150 

Ceballo, R., Abbey, A., & Schooler, D. (2010). Perceptions of women's infertility: What do physicians see? Fertility and Sterility 93, 1066-1073. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.11.019  

Abbey, A., Jacques-Tiura, A., & Parkhill, M.R. (2010). Sexual assault among diverse populations of women: Common ground, distinctive features, and unanswered questions. H. Landrine & N. Russo (Eds.) Handbook of diversity in feminist psychology (pp. 391-425). NY: Springer Publishing Co. 

Jacques-Tiura, A.J., Tkatch, R., Abbey, A., & Wegner, R. (2010). Disclosure of sexual assault: Characteristics and implications for posttraumatic stress symptoms among African American and Caucasian survivors. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 11, 174-192. doi:10.1080/15299730903502938 

Purdie, M.P., Abbey, A., & Jacques-Tiura, A.J. (2010). Perpetrators of intimate partner sexual violence: Are there unique characteristics associated with making partners have sex without a condom? Violence Against Women, 16, 1086-1097. doi:10.1177/1077801210382859  

Parkhill, M.R., Abbey, A., & Jacques-Tiura, A.J. (2009). How do sexual assault characteristics vary as a function of perpetrators' level of intoxication? Addictive Behaviors, 34, 331-333. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.11.003 

Abbey, A., Parkhill, M.R., Jacques-Tiura, A.J., & Saenz, C. (2009). Alcohol's role in men's use of coercion to obtain unprotected sex. Substance Use and Misuse, 44, 1328-1348. doi:10.1080/10826080902961419 

Young, A.M., King, L., Abbey, A., & Boyd, C.J. (2009). Adolescent peer-on--peer sexual aggression: Characteristics of aggressors of alcohol and non-alcohol related assaults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, 700-703. (PMID: 19737494) 


Awards and Recent Scientific Panels

  • Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Wayne State University, 2015. 
  • Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award; Social Sciences, Education, and Business; Wayne State University, 2014.
  • Ad Hoc Member of National Institutes of Health Risk Prevention and Intervention for Addiction Study Section, October 2014.
  • External Consultant to the Department of Defense in the development of the 2014-2016 Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy, released May, 2014.
  • Invited Participant, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Workshop “Toward Effective Interventions for Alcohol-Related Sexual, Physical, and Intimate Partner Violence: Where We Are, What is Needed, How to Get There,” September 2012.
  • Consulting Editor of the Year, Psychology of Violence, 2010-2011.
  • External Member of the Sexual Violence Prevention Portfolio Review, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sponsored by the Office of the Associate Director for Science, September, 2011. 
  • Member of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Health Services and Socio-Behavioral Research Review Subcommittee, November 2005 – June 2008; ad hoc member 2009-2010. 
  • Graduate Research Assistant Competition Award, 2009.
  • Invited Member of Expert Panel, Risk and Protective Factors for Sexual Violence Perpetration Research Agenda, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 2009.

Current and Recent Grants

  • Alcohol's Role in Sexual Assault: Development of Virtual Reality Simulation Proxy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), July 10, 2012 - June 30, 2015.
  • Alcohol's Role in Etiology of Sexual Assault Perpetration in a Community Sample.  NIAAA, May 20, 2007 - July 31, 2011.
  • Alcohol's Role in AIDS Risk Reduction for Young Adults. NIAAA, September 26, 2000 - August 31, 2005.
  • Prospective Analyses of Alcohol's Role in Sexual Assault. NIAAA, September 1, 1998 - August 31, 2002.

Consulting Editor

  • Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
  • Psychology of Violence.


  • Northwestern University, Ph.D. in Social Psychology, August 1982.
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in Psychology, December 1975. 
Rm. 8201, 5057 Woodward Ave
Research Area
Cognitive, Developmental and Social Psychology
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