Article

Relationship to Perpetrator, Disclosure, Social Reactions, and PTSD Symptoms in Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

Criminal Justice Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7140, USA. .
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse (Impact Factor: 0.75). 02/2007; 16(1):19-36. DOI: 10.1300/J070v16n01_02
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This research examined victim relationship to the perpetrator, disclosure characteristics, social reactions, and PTSD in adult survivors' of child sexual abuse (CSA) identified in a convenience sample of 733 college students. Results indicated that relationship to the perpetrator was related to CSA characteristics and outcomes. More negative reactions such as disbelief were observed for those victimized by relatives compared with acquaintance and stranger victims, especially for those disclosing in childhood. Victims of relatives had more PTSD symptoms if they delayed disclosure, received more negative reactions in childhood, and engaged in self-blame at the time of the abuse. Results are discussed in the context of Freyd's (1996) betrayal trauma theory, in order to better understand the traumatic impact of CSA.

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    • "Nonetheless, other peoples' response to disclosures of sexual abuse by men remains an important topic of study. Several studies have found that responses to disclosure are related to long-term mental health outcomes (Easton, 2012; O'Leary et al., 2010; Ruggiero et al., 2004; Ullman, 2007). In addition, the relationship between the survivor and the person who provides support following disclosure (e.g., spouse/partner, therapist) may influence growth and should be explored further. "
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    • "Given the mixed empirical research on the effect of disclosure timing on mental health, this finding is important. Similar to some of the previous studies (Ruggiero et al., 2004; Ullman, 2007), delaying disclosure of CSA contributed to more mental health symptoms in adulthood. Because of the high levels of shame, stigma and self-blame for male survivors (Lew, 2004; Spataro et al., 2001), many men maintain the secret of CSA long into adulthood, a phenomenon labeled as self-silencing (O'Leary & Barber, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Child sexual abuse (CSA) can have a profound effect on the long-term mental health of boys/men. However, not all men with histories of CSA experience psychopathology. To improve prevention and intervention services, more research is needed to understand why some male survivors experience mental health problems and others do not. The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to mental distress among a large, non-clinical sample of men with histories of CSA (N=487). Using a cross-sectional design with purposive sampling from three national survivor organizations, data were collected through an anonymous Internet-based survey. Multivariate analyses found that only one of the four CSA severity variables-use of physical force by the abuser-was related to mental distress. Additional factors that were related to mental distress included the number of other childhood adversities, years until disclosure, overall response to disclosure, and conformity to masculine norms. Overall, the final model predicted 36% of the variance in the number of mental health symptoms. Mental health practitioners should include masculine norms, disclosure history, and childhood adversities in assessments and intervention planning with male survivors. To more fully explicate risk factors for psychopathology in this population, future studies with probability samples of men that focus on mediational processes and use longitudinal designs are needed.
    Child abuse & neglect 09/2013; 38(2). DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.08.020 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Nonetheless, other peoples' response to disclosures of sexual abuse by men remains an important topic of study. Several studies have found that responses to disclosure are related to long-term mental health outcomes (Easton, 2012; O'Leary et al., 2010; Ruggiero et al., 2004; Ullman, 2007). In addition, the relationship between the survivor and the person who provides support following disclosure (e.g., spouse/partner, therapist) may influence growth and should be explored further. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite an increased risk of long-term mental health problems, many survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) experience positive changes in areas such as appreciation for life, personal strength, and interpersonal relationships. Drawing on life course theory, this study examined factors related to posttraumatic growth among a sample of men with CSA histories (N = 487). Using multiple linear regression (i.e., ordinary least squares), we found that men who had a better understanding of the sexual abuse experience, who ascribed to less traditional masculine norms, and who experienced a turning point reported greater growth. To promote growth, practitioners can help survivors understand the meaning and impact of the abuse on their lives and deconstruct rigid gender norms. More research on growth is needed with male survivors, especially on the nature of turning points in the recovery process.
    Child Maltreatment 09/2013; 18(4). DOI:10.1177/1077559513503037 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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