This article reviews a recent book arguing how a concept known as parental alienation syndrome-now parental alienation disorder-should be included in official psychiatric/psychological and medical classification diagnostic manuals. Anecdotal cases and opinion are presented as research and scientific evidence, and stories are presented as research studies. In addition, the book often contradicts itself in different sections. The author is not familiar with scientific methodology, confuses various statistical and research procedures and terminology, and thus misleads the reader in trying to promote this theory. This book's claim that it is the most comprehensive compilation of the evidence supporting parental alienation disorder/parental alienation syndrome is false, and it is not recommended by the reviewers.
In the initial analysis of data from a random sample of all those charged with child sexual abuse in Idaho over a 13-year period, only one predictive variable was found that related to recidivism of those convicted. Variables such as ethnicity, relationship, gender, and age differences did not show a significant or even large association with recidivism. The only variable that seemed to show both a significant and almost moderate association to recidivism was the Risk Assessment in the Sex Offender Evaluation reoffense. Comparisons were made to prior research as well as a discussion of implications of the sex offender evaluation for the legal process. Finally, a call for the continued need for further research is discussed.
This 18-month follow-up study builds on the findings of a randomized experimental evaluation that found qualified support for the short-term effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in reducing trauma symptoms among adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The current study provides preliminary evidence that the therapeutic benefits of EMDR for adult female survivors of CSA can be maintained over an 18-month period. Furthermore, there is some support for the suggestion that EMDR did so more efficiently and provided a greater sense of trauma resolution than did routine individual therapy.
Previous definitions of sexually abusive behavior in children and adolescents were deficient in failing to (1) highlight salient neuropsychological elements and antisocial behaviors that may contribute to a youth's functioning; (2) discriminate among possible types of coercion (e.g., manipulation, threats, physical force, and use of weapons); and (3) include predatory elements of sexual abuse against strangers or casual acquaintances. This article discusses a new comprehensive assessment tool that assists in defining sexually abusive youth. This tool, the Multiplex Empirically Guided Inventory of Ecological Aggregates for Assessing Sexually Abusive Children and Adolescents (Ages 19 and under) (MEGA; Miccio-Fonseca, 2006b), encompasses neuropsychological elements, coercive aspects, and predatory elements as essential factors to consider in comprehensive assessments of sexually abusive youth.
This article analyzes trends in the coverage of child sexual abuse in popular magazines since the early 1990s. The article employs systematic analysis to identify and analyze articles in four popular magazines. Articles are analyzed by subject, length, and publication. The results affirm established theories of newsworthiness related to the coverage of specific stories over time. However, interest in the subject waned in the past 10 years, with the brief and dramatic exception of coverage connected to the Catholic Church in 2002. The findings demonstrate systematic differences between the slants of the four magazines studied. The findings also suggest that child abuse professionals could improve the quality of coverage by agreeing to interviews in connection with articles about childhood sexual abuse.
This article provides an assessment over time of the incidence of newspaper-reported Internet-initiated sexual assaults among U.S. adolescents undergoing adjudication from 1996 to 2007. Of 812 newspaper reports of adjudicated Internet-initiated sexual assault, most (79.2%) victims were female, and the median age was 14 years. The incidence rate of these reports increased over the 12-year period for females but remained steady for males. The frequency of these assaults was much less than reported for other types of sexual assaults in this age group. These estimates hopefully will assist in a greater understanding of these assaults, aid in interventions to decrease their occurrence, and guide effective policymaking that will reduce all types of sexual assault among adolescents.
This article presents a review of all types of child sexual abuse research ignored by Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman in their 1998 meta-analytic study. Eight major findings are addressed. Altogether, these findings demonstrate the narrow focus of the Rind et al. meta-analysis. By restricting a supposedly broad meta-analysis to only some of the research and population in question, the conclusions Rind et al. drew regarding this complex topic (primarily, that adult-child sex is not necessarily harmful to children) are invalid.
An article, A Meta-analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, published in the July 1998 edition of the Psychological Bulletin resulted in an unprecedented amount of media attention and became the first scientific article to be formally denounced by the United States House of Representatives. The study's authors analyzed the findings of 59 earlier studies on child sexual abuse (CSA) and concluded that mental health researchers have greatly overstated CSA's harmful potential. They recommended that a willing encounter with positive reactions would no longer be considered to be sexual abuse; instead, it would simply be labeled adult-child sex. The study's conclusions and recommendations spawned a debate in both the popular and scholarly press. A number of commentators suggested that the study is pedophile propaganda masquerading as science. Others claimed that the authors are victims of a moralistic witch-hunt and that scientific freedom is being threatened. After a careful examination of the evidence, it is concluded that Rind et al. can best be described as an advocacy article that inappropriately uses science in an attempt to legitimize its findings.
The goal of this article is to present a methodological critique of the 1998 meta-analysis of child sexual abuse outcomes by Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman. Seven major concerns are addressed. Rind et al.'s view is, at best, extremely limited. By restricting a supposedly broad meta-analysis to only some of the population in question, the conclusions they drew regarding this complex topic, primarily that adult-child sex is not necessarily harmful, are invalid.
Data from the 2000 National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) show that while males make up about nine out of every 10 adult sexual assault perpetrators, totaling about 26,878 incidents within the reporting period, females account for about one out of 10 perpetrators, totaling about 1,162 incidents. Male sexual assault perpetrators offend against child victims about 25% of the time and predominantly choose female child victims, whereas female perpetrators offend against child victims about 40% of the time and choose child victims of both genders equally. Male perpetrators offend against adolescent victims about 40% of the time, and once again tend to choose female adolescent victims. Female perpetrators offend against adolescent victims a comparable amount of time (about 45%), and for forcible offenses (rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling) choose adolescent victims of both genders equally, while for non-forcible offenses (non-forcible incest and statutory rape) they tend to choose predominantly male victims. Finally, adult male sexual assault perpetrators choose adult victims about 36% of the time while female perpetrators choose adult victims only 16% of the time. Implications for professionals are discussed, including recommendations to aid in correct identification of adult perpetrators and child/adolescent victims of sexual assault.
Sibling sexual abuse is identified as the most common form of familial sexual abuse. Extant literature is plagued by definitional inconsistencies, data limitations, and inadequate research methodology. Trivialized as "normal" sexual exploration, sibling sexual abuse has been linked to psychosocial/psychosexual dysfunction. Research has relied on retrospective, convenience, and/or homogenous samples. This work drew on eight years of National Incident-Based Reporting System data (2000-2007) to provide aggregate level baseline information. This work extended prior research exploring victim-, offender-, and incident-based characteristics. Results highlight the need for expanded definitional criteria relating to both age and gender to better inform risk assessment and prevention. Findings both corroborate and contrast prior work and suggest victim- and offender-based gender differences.
News media coverage of child sexual abuse can help policymakers and the public understand what must be done to prevent future abuse, but coverage tends to focus on extreme cases. This article presents an analysis of newspaper coverage from 2007 to 2009 to describe how the daily news presents and frames day-to-day stories about child sexual abuse. When child sexual abuse receives news attention, the stories focus primarily on the criminal justice details of a specific incident rather than contextual information about causes of and solutions to child sexual abuse, and prevention is rarely addressed. We offer suggestions for strategies that advocates can use to help reporters improve news coverage so that it better contextualizes child sexual abuse and links it to prevention policies.
Everson and Faller's (2012) article on the significance of sexualized behavior in child sexual abuse assessments critiques a chapter by Poole and Wolfe (2009), but their objections assumed conclusions and practice implications that were not contained in that chapter. In this comment, I reiterate the value of educating adults about normative sexual and nonsexual behavior that could be misconstrued as symptoms of sexual abuse in some children, review key points from the chapter, and point out that Everson and Faller's critique supports the chapter's take-home messages (i.e., the importance of gathering information from multiple sources and the need to test alternative hypotheses for concerning behavior, consider the overall context of individual cases, and obtain independent verification of evidence).
Our series of three chapters ( Faust, Bridges, & Ahern, 2009a , 2009b ; Bridges, Faust, & Ahern, 2009 ) on the methodology of identifying sexually abused children elicited a number of comments, both supportive and critical. The criticisms appear related to three primary issues or apparent misconceptions of our work, perhaps due in part to incomplete exposition or ambiguity in presented material: our use of hypotheticals, our argument against "double-dipping," and our use of Bayesian analyses. We address each of these criticisms here in the hope of clarifying any misunderstandings and contributing in a constructive way to progress in this critical arena.
The medical evaluation of children with suspected sexual abuse includes more than just the physical examination of the child. The importance of taking a detailed medical history from the parents and a history from the child about physical sensations following sexual contact has been emphasized in other articles in the medical literature. The examination is important, however, and medical providers who examine children need to be aware of published research on findings in nonabused children, studies of healing of injuries, and studies documenting the association between sexual contact and the diagnosis of sexually transmissible infections in children. This article reviews the current approach to interpreting findings in children who may have been sexually abused and why additional research is needed.
Cross, Fine, Jones, and Walsh's (20124.
Cross , T. P. ,
Fine , J. E. ,
Jones , L. M. and
Walsh , W. A. 2012. Mental health professionals in children's advocacy centers: Is there role conflict?. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(1): 91–108. [Taylor & Francis Online], [PubMed]View all references) article “Mental Health Professionals in Children's Advocacy Centers: Is There Role Conflict?” challenges two recent publications' criticisms that child advocacy centers create role conflict for mental health professionals and explains how child advocacy centers actually work, describing the different roles for mental health professionals who participate in them. This commentary points out that more precise data would have helped to specifically address the critics' concerns. Furthermore, professional ethics and licensure issues may have served as an additional but unacknowledged check on the “spillover effect” that the critics have alleged comes with being associated with prosecution. This commentary also highlights three main strengths of the Cross and colleagues' article.
Role conflict has been an issue in the intervention of child abuse cases since the beginning of the alliance drawn between the legal and mental health professions. In child abuse cases, clearly defined roles will prevent an attack on the process, thereby providing successful interventions to protect children. The child advocacy center concept is one of the best ways to meld the two professional functions into a cohesive approach to those interventions.
Cross, Fine, Jones, and Walsh (20124.
Cross , T. P. ,
Fine , J. E. ,
Jones , L. M. and
Walsh , W. A. 2012. Mental health professionals in children's advocacy centers: Is there role conflict?. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(1): 91–108. [Taylor & Francis Online], [PubMed]View all references) provided a thoughtful review and critique of a book chapter describing the interview process at Child Advocacy Centers. They observed some of the ways that concerns raised in that chapter are being addressed and described revised guidelines that further clarify issues. Ongoing research and examination of the important processes carried on by child advocacy centers and the role fulfilled by mental health professionals in the investigation of child sexual abuse contributes positively to service delivery.
The purpose of this study was to identify possible differences between high- and low-risk sex offenders. The subjects included 285 sex offenders on probation. They were evaluated with the Static-99, Abel Assessment, Raven's, and MMPI-2. A criminal history review identified the number of prior offenses and the age/sex category in the index offense. The high- and low-risk groups were compared on 26 variables: intelligence, age, criminal history, denial patterns, measured sexual interest in children, admission of sexual interests, a childhood history of sexual abuse, victim's age, and personality variables. Four variables significantly accounted for 64% of the variance: age, prior number of felonies, the Cognitive Distortion Score, and the MMPI-2 Infrequency scale score.
This study explored the impact of the NICHD protocol to enhance the quantity and content of details reported by children with low verbal abilities. Thirty-four children aged from 6 to 14 were interviewed following their experience of sexual abuse. Half the interviews were conducted using the NICHD protocol. Results indicate that NICHD interviews contained more open-ended prompts and more details overall. Open-ended invitations yielded significantly more detailed responses than did closed-ended questions for both children with low and average verbal abilities. Although children with low verbal abilities provided fewer details than children with average verbal abilities, the NICHD protocol helped them provide detailed responses containing the core elements of the sexual abuse.
Over the past decade, a contentious debate regarding delayed memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has existed. In order to address this debate, 240 female participants completed questions about CSA, the Dissociative Experience Scale (Bernstein & Putnam, 1986), Perceived Emotional Closeness with Perpetrator Scale (Schultz, Passmore, & Yoder, 2000), and the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale 2 (GSS 2) (Gudjonsson, 1987). Eighty-two (36%) reported CSA and 37% of these indicated memory disturbances for the CSA. Participants reporting memory disturbances also reported significantly higher numbers of perpetrators, chemical abuse in their families, and closer relationships with the perpetrator(s) than participants reporting no memory disturbances. Implications for clinicians working with clients reporting CSA are discussed.
Maternal support received by sexual abuse victims is considered a key factor in coping with the aftermath of abuse. The present study looked at four groups of potential predictors of maternal support: mothers' psychosocial characteristics, abuse characteristics, victim's characteristics, and disclosure characteristics. A total of 120 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and their mothers, who were recruited from Child Protective Services, completed questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Multiple regression analyses performed separately on mother and child data sets revealed five significant predictors of maternal support in each analysis, four of which were common to both. The discussion underscores the importance of taking into account both the mother's and the victim's perceptions regarding psychological adjustment and family environment.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the traumatic impact that sexual abuse can have on a young male's development by addressing mediating dispositions that can render a child vulnerable to the effects of sexual abuse. Consideration is given to three different theoretical perspectives that are not exclusive to male victims but shed light on the impact that sexual abuse can have on the development of a young boy. These perspectives include early family relationships and attachment theory, developmental psychopathology, and trauma theory. These theoretical lenses provide a conceptual understanding into why some victims are vulnerable to the effects of sexual abuse. Each theoretical view is applied to a case study of an adolescent male with a history of early trauma and sexual abuse. Clinical implications are discussed.
The aim of the study was to understand why the dynamic of sexual abuse is perpetuated across successive generations. A qualitative analysis was conducted on therapy session transcripts and diaries written during the therapy of 24 mothers who were survivors of incest, and whose children were the victims of incest. Four types of mothers were defined: the Unaware mother, characterized by a complete lack of cognitive knowledge of the sexual abuse occurring in her home; the Unwitting Accomplice, characterized by latent cooperation with the sexual abuse perpetrated by her husband; the Enabler, characterized by overtly or covertly encouraging her spouse in the raping of her daughter; and the Common Fate mother, characterized by sharing a common fate with her daughters.
Recent studies have found that chronic avoidance of unpleasant internal experiences (e.g., thoughts, emotions, memories) is a maladaptive means of affect regulation often adopted by women with a history of sexual victimization in childhood. The primary aim of this study was to replicate and extend previous findings suggesting that higher levels of experiential avoidance may account for the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and psychological distress in adulthood. It was hypothesized that, in a sample of undergraduate females (n = 151), the relationship between severity of CSA (e.g., frequency, nature of victimization) and trauma-related psychological distress would be mediated by avoidance. Results supported this hypothesis. Findings are consistent with previous studies, and further suggest that the general tendency to avoid or escape from unpleasant internal experiences may be a specific factor that exacerbates psychological distress among women with a history of sexual victimization in childhood.
The literature on clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse suggests that there are two modal populations of survivors: boys and adult women. We review what is known about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder following sexual abuse and explore the different treatment needs for these two survivor groups. For children, clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse can catastrophically alter the trajectory of psychosocial, sexual, and spiritual development. Depending on the age at which abuse occurred, adult clients may present with clinical issues that are more appropriate for a younger developmental stage. Additionally, the symptoms of traumatic stress may be misunderstood when clients conceptualize their abuse as an "affair" or "consensual" relationship. We discuss empirically supported treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and potential adaptations for the needs of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse survivors.
This study addresses the (mis) representations made by pro-false memory attorneys and expert witnesses in court regarding the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Five pro-false memory positions were identified: (1) there is no causal connection between CSA and adult psychopathology; (2) the evidence is insufficient; (3) CSA does not cause specific trauma-related outcomes like borderline and dissociative identity disorder; (4) other variables than CSA explain the variance of adult psychopathology; and (5) the long-term effects of CSA are general and non-specific. Examining the testimony revealed that such pro-false memory testimony was based solely on a partial understanding of retrospective data and that pro-false memory experts do not cite the more recent prospective data. Reviewing the totality of the scientific evidence demonstrates that such pro-false memory testimony is inaccurate and has the potential of misleading the jury. Prospective studies provide sufficient evidence to causally link CSA to a number of areas of adult psychopathology including multiple, co-morbid psychiatric conditions, and possibly to link early parent-infant attachment pathology to the development of borderline and dissociative identity disorder.
While the professional literature deals to some degree with the difficult dilemmas faced by professionals regarding the question of reporting or not reporting child abuse as mandated by law, there is a glaring insufficiency of studies looking at the impact of reporting on the victims and their families. This paper presents six cases of suspected sexual abuse to demonstrate some of the inconsistency in responses to reports within the Israeli system. The authors recommend amendments to the Israeli mandatory reporting law so that the law is not only a societal decree of the absolute prohibition against the sexual exploitation of minors and others incapable of giving informed consent, but also a basis for consistent and skillful professional intervention.
Incorporating elements from broadband theories of psychological adaptation to extreme adversity, including Summit's (1983)82.
Summit , R. C. 1983. The child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. Child Abuse and Neglect, 7(2): 177–193. [CrossRef], [PubMed]View all references Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, Finkelhor and Browne's (1986)16.
Finkelhor , D. and
Browne , A. 1986. “Initial and long-term effects: A conceptual framework”. In A sourcebook on child sexual abuse, Edited by:
Finkelhor , D. 180–198. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. View all references Traumagenic Dynamics Model of sexual abuse, and Pyszczynski and colleagues' (1997)68.
Pyszczynski , T. ,
Greenberg , J. and
Solomon , S. 1997. Why do we need what we need? A terror management perspective on the roots of human social motivation. Psychological Inquiry, 8: 1–20. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]View all references Terror Management Theory, this paper proposes a unified theoretical model of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse for future research. The model conceptualizes clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse as the convergence of interactive processes between the clergy-perpetrator, the parishioner-survivor, and the religious community.
This article introduces the second issue of the special double issue focusing on forensic, cultural, and systems issues in child sexual abuse cases. We briefly review the articles, which include a discussion of child sexual abuse myths, an empirical analysis of extended child sexual abuse evaluations, an article on the role of the medical provider in child sexual abuse evaluations, a study of satisfaction levels with multidisciplinary teams in child advocacy centers, and a commentary advocating for the credentialing of forensic interviewers. We call for further empirical examination of media related to child sexual abuse risk, research on appropriate models for extended sexual abuse interviews and evaluations, and optimal practices relevant to each member of multidisciplinary teams in a child advocacy center.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that site-specific cultures be obtained, when indicated, for sexually victimized children. Nucleic acid amplification testing is a highly sensitive and specific methodology for identifying sexually transmitted infections. Nucleic acid amplification tests are also less invasive than culture, and this may provide an efficacious alternative for children suspected of being sexually abused.
This paper addresses parents' reactions to sexual abuse cases in their families. The study analyzed the clinical records of individual and family therapy sessions with 35 cases of Arab Palestinian clients, citizens of Israel (27 individuals and 8 families). Families were categorized as either functional or dysfunctional. It was concluded that the degree and type of relatedness of the perpetrator to the victim's family influences the type of reaction more than the family's level of functionality or the type of harm caused to the victim. Functional families consider the mental welfare of the victim as a serious concern. However, when the abuser is a relative or an acquaintance, functional families balance between support for the victim and the maintenance of correct relations with the abuser's family. Dysfunctional families offer solutions that in the short-term and/or the long-term usually harm the victim.
Although collaboration in child abuse investigations has been emphasized since 1974, barriers, including role conflicts and organizational differences, have often been reported. This study describes the process of collaboration based on the perceptions of investigators working with a Child Advocacy Center. Telephone interviews were conducted with 290 child protective service workers and law enforcement officers from 28 child advocacy centers in 20 different states. Respondents identified barriers to the process of collaboration such as conflicts over case control and facilitators including co-housing and cross-training. Conditions that should contribute to successful collaboration are discussed.
A quasi-experimental design was used to compare the effectiveness of group (game-based cognitive behavioral) therapy to group-plus-individual therapy for child sexual abuse. The sample consisted predominantly of children from economically disadvantaged, African-American or Latino backgrounds. Pretreatment scores were examined in order to determine which factors influence treatment referral decisions. Results suggest that children who were referred for individual therapy in addition to group therapy report higher pretreatment levels of sexualized behavior. Posttreatment differences were also compared across therapy conditions. Results suggest that individual therapy is needed to address the sexual concerns of survivors but that it may not be needed to augment the effects of group therapy for other symptoms. Implications for treatment are discussed.
In order to determine the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, we conducted a meta-analysis that compiled the results of 65 articles across 9 countries. The results revealed no significant difference in the prevalence of child sexual abuse between homosexual and bisexual people for both sexes. The prevalence of child sexual abuse among female sexual minorities was significantly higher than that among male sexual minorities. The lowest prevalence was found in South America, followed by Asia. The definition of child sexual abuse, dimension used to measure sexual orientation, year of data collection, and the mean age of participants at the time of assessment influenced the estimated prevalence of child sexual abuse. We conclude that many variables influence the reported prevalence of child sexual abuse among sexual minorities.
We propose the use of an approach to evaluation that can be undertaken in a clinical setting when concerns regarding child sexual abuse are unclear or ambiguous and other systems are not involved, thus providing an option for the nondisclosing child often discussed in the “delayed disclosure” literature. This approach can also be appropriate for a child with a questionable prior disclosure not being served by other intervention systems. We have labeled this an “integrative” model, incorporating forensically sound practices into evaluations conducted in a clinical setting. The goals of this manuscript are to (a) provide a rationale for conducting child sexual abuse extended evaluations in a clinical setting, (b) delineate the purposes of such evaluations, (c) differentiate this “integrative” model from the forensic–clinical dichotomy framework discussed by Kuehnle (199624.
Kuehnle , K. 1996. Assessing allegations of child sexual abuse, Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press/Professional Resource Exchange. View all references), and (d) briefly describe the format, which can be refined by future practice and research.
This article focuses on child sexual abuse in Sri Lanka. The background of child sexual abuse in the country and its current status are discussed. The role of the National Child Protection Authority, the primary governmental body concerned with child protection, is also explored. The article also brings to light various cultural dimensions that serve to call attention to the issue of sexual abuse of children in Sri Lanka. These are explored and illustrated with case vignettes from the author's clinical experience. Finally, the article elucidates the main issues and barriers in Sri Lanka that need to be surmounted in order to have an integrated service delivery in the care of the sexually abused child.
Research suggests that the use of disengaged or avoidant strategies to cope with interpersonal violence contributes to the development of depressive symptoms and other psychological difficulties. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) who are exposed to subsequent episodes of abuse may be more likely to rely on disengaged coping strategies, placing them at elevated risk of psychological symptomatology. In this study, we explored the interrelationships between coping, depression, and self-esteem in an ethnically diverse sample of domestic violence survivors (N = 219) with and without a history of CSA. As predicted, CSA survivors (n = 86) reported significantly greater use of disengaged coping strategies (wishful thinking, self-criticism, and social withdrawal) than non-CSA survivors (n = 133). As hypothesized, both a CSA history and the use of disengaged coping significantly predicted higher levels of depression and lower self- esteem. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.
Abstract Potential Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) transmission makes prompt disclosure of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Africa critical. The pattern of disclosure of 133 children presenting to the largest hospital in Malawi were analyzed. Eighty percent presented early enough for effective use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis. Seventy-five percent of children made a disclosure of CSA; 29% spontaneously and 47% after prompting. Disclosures were most commonly made to a parent, and age did not affect the pattern of disclosure. The number of children reporting CSA is increasing, possibly because of increasing awareness, availability of services, and fear of HIV. Although prompt disclosure rates were relatively high, facilitating easier disclosure of CSA by a free telephone help-line and better training of teachers may be helpful.
One hundred eighty-eight female participants (44 victims and 144 non-victims of CSA) from a 4-year university were recruited. The first objective examined the difference between victims and non-victims on measures of perceived social support, coping strategies, and global self-worth. Victims were more likely to report lower maternal support than non-victims of CSA. Additionally, victims who were perpetrated by a family member were more likely to report lower maternal support than those who were perpetrated by a non-family member. The second objective investigated the impact of victimization and several mediating factors on global self-worth. Victimization indirectly related to global self-worth through paternal support. Additional analyses examining non-victims showed significant direct relations between paternal, friend, and campus support leading to global self-worth. For victims, paternal support indirectly related to global self-worth through emotion- focused coping. These results indicate that paternal support and coping strategies may be important for later psychological adjustment in victims of CSA.
Child sexual abuse continues to occur for a significant number of children, often having deleterious consequences for survivors' physical and mental health. Research has thoroughly explored various consequences as a result of child sexual abuse, but scholars and practitioners know less about the healing processes from survivors' viewpoints. Using a constructivist grounded theory design, this study examined perceptions of healing in 10 female survivors of child sexual abuse. Results conclude with a theoretical model of healing, capturing the significance of supportive relationships, internal characteristics, turning points, and sources of active healing. Important sources of active healing include therapy, informal and formal education, compassion and empathy, blame attribution to abusers, and confronting abusers. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
This study examined the severity of externalizing symptomology among adopted boys with preadoptive histories of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect/abandonment, or no abuse. The study was based on data collected across a three-year period from parents who adopted children from Florida's child welfare system. The sample consisted of 1,136 adopted boys aged 6 to 18 years. In repeated cross-sectional multivariate analyses, the results revealed that adopted boys with preadoptive child sexual abuse were prone to significantly higher levels and clinically severe externalizing symptomotology as compared to adopted boys without such histories. The findings highlight the need for postadoption services and empirically validated interventions for families adopting boys with preadoptive child sexual abuse.
This exploratory investigation examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and related psychosocial characteristics and sexual behaviors among 46 gay/bisexual male escorts who advertise via the Internet. More than a quarter of men (28.3%) reported some history of CSA. Men reporting CSA were more likely to be from an ethnic minority group, identify as bisexual, have a primary male partner, and were less likely to identify an anal receptive ("bottom") sexual role preference. Men with a history of CSA were more likely to report unprotected sex with work-related partners, increased internalized homophobia, and decreased adolescent isolation. Interventions designed for male escorts with a history of CSA should emphasize safer sex strategies with work partners and reducing internalized homophobia.
The purpose of the current study was to develop and evaluate the efficacy of a school-based child sexual abuse prevention program for Taiwanese children. Forty-six Taiwanese children age 6 to 13 were divided into one of two groups based on their school grade and then randomly assigned to a skills-based child sexual abuse prevention program who received training immediately or a waiting-list control condition who received the training after a delay. Children's self-protection skills improved regardless of age after participation in the program. The program, however, did not successfully improve children's knowledge of sexuality and safety. Although future studies should modify the program content to better target knowledge of sexuality and safety, these results are promising for a pilot of this skills-based CSA prevention program in Taiwan.
This article describes the state of knowledge about extended assessments/forensic evaluations in situations of possible sexual abuse. It provides a critical review of the modest body of relevant research, describes two models for extended assessments, and presents descriptive survey findings of 62 professionals conducting extended assessments, most of whom conduct extended assessments intermittently as part of their other work on sexual abuse cases. Agencies should consider conducting extended assessments with young or traumatized children whose sexual abuse allegations are not resolved with a single interview as well as in complex child sexual abuse cases.
This article explores shame issues for Latino children who have been sexually abused and their families. Latino cultural concerns around shame that are associated with sexual abuse include: attributions for the abuse, fatalism, virginity, sexual taboos, predictions of a shameful future, revictimization, machismo, and fears of homosexuality for boy victims, and the intersection of shame from sexual abuse with societal discrimination. Quotes and case material are drawn from the author's research and clinical work. The article includes clinical suggestions.