Longitudinal analysis of maternal risk factors for childhood sexual abuse: early attitudes and behaviours, socioeconomic status, and mental health

School of Population Health and Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.77). 06/2011; 45(8):629-37. DOI: 10.3109/00048674.2011.587395
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to examine whether maternal factors such as socioeconomic status (SES), attitudes towards the baby, and mental health at 6 months or earlier, are associated with non-penetrative and penetrative childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in her offspring.
This was a prospective birth cohort study followed up to 21 years. Set in one of two obstetric hospitals in Brisbane, Australia, the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP) involves a prospective birth cohort from a population based sample of 7223 singletons whose mothers were enrolled between 1981 and 1984 at the first antenatal visit. The present cohort consisted of 2664 participants who provided CSA data, and whose mothers had responded to all relevant questions.
About 16% of young adults reported non-penetrative sexual abuse before the age of sixteen and 9% reported penetrative abuse. After adjusting for all variables in the model, an increased risk for non-penetrative CSA was associated with the child being female, unwanted pregnancy, mother being a heavy smoker, and maternal anxiety. Increased risk for penetrative CSA was associated with the child being female, the mother having failed to complete a high school level education, living in an alternative arrangement other than marriage, and being either a moderate or heavy smoker. We found no associations between maternal age and CSA after correcting for other predictors.
CSA was not uncommon in this cohort with one in four reporting some form of sexual abuse before 16. The results suggest that several early factors may predict later CSA and that the associations are different according to type of CSA.


Available from: Jackob M. Najman, Dec 18, 2014
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