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NCJ Number: 136072 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Sexual Abuse on Children: A Review and Synthesis of Recent Empirical Studies
Author(s): K A Kendall-Tackett; L M Williams; D Finkelhor
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 62
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
University of New Hampshire, Family Research Laboratory
Durham, NH 03824
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: T32-MH15161; 90CA-1406
Type: Literature Review
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A review of 46 studies clearly demonstrates that sexually abused children have more symptoms than children who have not been abused with the abuse accounting for 15 to 45 percent of the variance.
Abstract: The review included studies in which all victims were 18 years of age or younger and which reported quantitative results. Case studies were excluded as were studies that included adult victims or addressed only a special population. The majority of the studies were published during the past 5 years. The most frequent symptoms were fears, post-traumatic stress disorder, behavior problems, sexualized behaviors, and poor self-esteem. However, no single symptom characterizes a majority of sexually abused children. Some symptoms are specific to certain ages, and approximately one-third of victims have no symptoms. Factors affecting the degree of symptomatology include penetration, the duration and frequency of the abuse, the use of force, the relationship of the sex offender to the child, and maternal support. About two-thirds of the children show recovery during the first 12-18 months. The findings suggest the absence of any specific "sexually-abused-child syndrome" and no single traumatizing process. Results indicate the need for theory testing and methodological development in studying these issues. Tables and 84 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Abused children; Psychological victimization effects; Victim attitudes; Victim reactions to crime
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, San Diego, California, January 1991
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