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NCJ Number: 193387 Find in a Library
Title: Children's Perceptions of Their Abusive Experience: Measurement and Preliminary Findings
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:February 2002  Pages:42-55
Author(s): David J. Kolko; Elissa J. Brown; Lucy Berliner
Date Published: February 2002
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr on Child Abuse and Neglect
McLean, VA 22102
Grant Number: 90CA1547
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the preliminary identification and measurement of cognitive-attributional symptoms in explaining the outcomes of child abuse.
Abstract: The sample consisted of 47 child abuse victims (ages 6 to 18) who were administered a 16-item interview measure designed to evaluate several attributions common to this population. Children and their caregivers also completed several other clinical measures. The results demonstrated that abuse-specific perceptions were complicated to measure and to interpret. Not only did many items have skewed or unusual distributions, but the relationships between beliefs and outcomes varied by type of abuse, gender, and offender relationship and even these relationships differed by outcome measure. In contrast, age or abuse severity were generally unrelated to these attributions. Examination of the items revealed that almost all of the children regarded their experiences as abusive. They believed that what happened to them was wrong and undeserved. The children also generally believed that these acts were intentional and not primarily the result of their own behavior. The results are consistent with findings that most children do not blame themselves and do blame abusers for the abuse. Children strongly supported abusers’ receiving help, although they were of mixed opinion about whether abusers should be punished. The children felt bad while the abuse was happening and believed that the abusers did not care about their feelings at the time. Girls were more likely to see themselves as negatively affected by their experience, which may be consistent with the finding that girls reported more self-blame than boys in a prior study. Sexually abused children were significantly more likely to believe that the abuse was a victimization; they believed that it was uncontrollable, intentional, and undeserved. 6 tables, 49 references
Main Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims
Index Term(s): Crimes against children; Family offenses; Juvenile victims; Male female victim comparisons; Psychological victimization effects; Victimization
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