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Journal article

Child sexual abuse and psychological impairment in victims: results of an online study initiated by victims

Authors:
SCHAEFER Gerard A., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(3), 2012, pp.343-360.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Research in the area of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been rarely initiated, conceptualised, and conducted by victims themselves. This article describes a study conducted by the German victim-run support group MOGiS e.V. in order to add victims' perspectives to understanding of this topic. An aim of the study was to investigate how being affected by CSA directly or indirectly influences estimates of the prevalence of CSA. Another aim of was to determine the magnitude of symptoms of impaired psychosocial functioning among CSA victims. An online survey was completed by 502 participants over the period October 2009 to March 2010. The article reports on the: characteristics of victims of CSA; age at victimisation; nature of CSA; nonsexual abuse; perpetrator gender and age; perpetrator-victim relationship; legal action; feelings of guilt; and psychosocial impairment. The findings showed extensive impaired psychosocial functioning among CSA victims with a significant relationship between the severity of the experienced offense and the number of reported symptoms of psychosocial impairment. With respect to estimating the prevalence of CSA, affected participants estimated significantly higher rates compared to nonaffected participants. The results indicate that an intact social support system facilitates better health, especially when offered early on.

Journal article

The effect of severe child sexual abuse and disclosure on mental health during adulthood

Authors:
O'LEARY Patrick, COOHEY Carol, EASTON Scott D.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 19(3), May 2010, pp.275-289.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between indicators of severe sexual abuse and mental health symptoms during adulthood and to determine whether telling someone the abuse had occurred during childhood moderates the relationship between severe abuse and mental health. A phone survey was conducted with 172 adults living in Victoria, Australia, who were sexually abused as children. The results suggested that disclosure of child sexual abuse during childhood may be important in understanding mental health symptoms during adulthood. Telling someone about the sexual abuse was related to a greater number of mental health symptoms, however discussing the sexual abuse within a year was related to fewer mental health symptoms. Regardless of whether the respondent told someone about the abuse or discussed it, three indicators of abuse severity were associated with more mental health symptoms: being injured, being abused by more than one person, and being abused by a biological relative. The authors discuss the study results and their implications.

Journal article

Childhood abuse and recovery from major depression

Authors:
ZLOTNICK Caron, et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 19(12), December 1995, pp.1513-1516.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Thirty-eight female inpatients with major depression were assessed for childhood abuse. History of abuse was examined in relation to recovery from a major depressive episode over a 12-month follow-up period. Forty-six percent of the women had a history of childhood abuse. Women without a history of abuse were 3.7 times more likely to have recovered by 12 months.

Journal article

'Seeing that I am a person': self and recovery among women and sexually abused as children

Author:
DARLINGTON Yvonne
Journal article citation:
Australian Social Work, 48(3), September 1995, pp.11-17.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Disturbances in the experience of self are reported frequently among adult survivors of child sexual abuse. This paper focuses on disturbances of sense of self and the process of eventual reparation of the self as reported by ten women who had been sexually abused in childhood. The women were participants in a qualitative research study on the experience of childhood sexual abuse. The participants identified damage to self and recovery processes.

Journal article

A meta-analysis of the relationship of child sexual abuse to adult psychological adjustment

Author:
JUMPER Shan A.
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 19(6), June 1995, pp.715-728.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Reports on meta-analyses of the relationships of child sexual abuse to adult psychological adjustment. Results indicated statistically significant relationships between the experience of child sexual abuse and subsequent difficulties in psychological adjustment as measured by psychological symptomatology, depression, and self-esteem. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Journal article

Childhood sexual abuse and mental health in adult life

Authors:
MULLEN Paul E., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, December 1993, pp.721-732.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Reports on research in New Zealand, which found a positive correlation between reporting abuse and greater levels of psychopathology on a range of measures. Childhood sexual abuse was more frequent in women from disrupted homes as well as those who had been exposed to inadequate parenting or physical abuse. The overlap between the possible effects of sexual abuse and the effects of the matrix of disadvantage from which it so often emerges were so considerable as to be felt to raise doubts about how often, in practice, it operates as an independent causal element. Lack of long-term impairment of many of those reporting childhood sexual abuse suggests that effects can only be understood in relationship with the context from which the abuse emerged.

Journal article

Childhood sexual experiences with adults - a comparison of reports by women psychiatric patients and General Practice attenders

Authors:
PALMER R.L., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, October 1993, pp.499-504.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Reports on research which highlighted the higher level of reporting of childhood sexual abuse by female psychiatric patients than by women attending a general practice surgery, suggesting an association between such experiences and later psychiatric patienthood, and compatible with a causal role for them in some cases.

Journal article

Language use and PTSD symptoms: content analyses of allegations of child sexual abuse

Authors:
MIRAGOLI Sarah, PROCACCIA Rossella, Di BLASIO Paola
Journal article citation:
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 14(5), 2014, pp.355-382.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia

The objective of this article is to understand how traumatised children report traumatic narratives. This study aims to explore the mediating effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on the relationship between child age and narrative characteristics in the allegations of child sexual abuse. Some characteristics of traumatic narratives were analysed in a group of 58 victims of sexual abuse (M = 10; SD = 3.5 years), including 29 children (50%) with all the symptoms of PTSD. Results were consistent with a model of PTSD symptoms as a mediator of the relationship between age and sensory impressions, emotional nodes, and cognitive distancing. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Suicide attempts among men with histories of child sexual abuse: examining abuse severity, mental health, and masculine norms

Authors:
EASTON Scott D., RENNER Lynette M., O'LEARY Patrick
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 37(6), 2013, pp.380-387.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Survey data gathered from a purposive sample of 487 men who were sexually abused during childhood were used to examine the relationship between abuse severity, mental health, masculine norms and recent suicide . The age of the sample ranged from 19 to 84 years. Recent suicide attempts served as the dependent variable in the study. Self-reported measures of sexual abuse severity, child physical abuse, mental health, masculine norms, and demographic information (age, race) represented the independent variables. The results from logistic regression modeling found that five variables – duration of the sexual abuse, use of force during the sexual abuse, high conformity to masculine norms, level of depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation – increased the odds of a suicide attempt in the past 12 months. To improve mental health services for men with histories of child sexual abuse, mental health practitioners should incorporate sexual abuse severity, current mental health, and adherence to masculine norms into assessment and treatment planning. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Characteristics of childhood sexual abuse in lesbians and heterosexual women

Authors:
WILSNACK Sharon C., et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 36(3), 2012, pp.260-265.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Drawing on data from the 2001 US National Study of Health and Life Experiences of Women and the 2001 Chicago Life Experiences of Women study (both longitudinal studies), researchers investigated whether lesbians report more severe childhood sexual abuse than heterosexual women. Data in both of the studies came from face-to-face interviews conducted by trained female interviewers. The article briefly describes the background to the study and its methodology and results. It reports on findings, covering demographic characteristics, childhood sexual abuse prevalence and severity, perpetrators, and self-perceived childhood sexual abuse. It concludes that the findings suggest that childhood sexual abuse is not only more prevalent among lesbians than among heterosexual women, but also more severe, and notes that these factors may contribute to lesbians' increased risk of depression, psychological distress and substance abuse.

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