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NCJ Number: 202964 Find in a Library
Title: Differences Between Sexually Abused and Non-Sexually Abused Adolescent Girls in Foster Care
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:2002  Pages:73-99
Author(s): Tonya Edmond; Wendy Auslander; Diane E. Elze; Curtis McMillen; Ron Thompson
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, MD 21202
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
Grant Number: R01 HD35445
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the differences between sexually abused and nonsexually abused adolescent females in the foster care system.
Abstract: A sample of 190 females involved in the foster care system in 1 Midwest suburban county was used. Education, mental health, and substance abuse were emphasized given their demonstrated importance of future outcomes for foster care youth. Data for this study were collected during a baseline assessment of a larger study to evaluate an 8-month HIV prevention and life skills program. The purpose of the program is to assist youths in attaining life skills to prepare them for discharge from State custody. The findings reveal that there are both similarities as well as important differences between sexually abused and nonsexually abused adolescent girls in foster care. The girls did not differ significantly in terms of their delinquent behavior, alcohol and substance use, educational plans, or future orientation. A substantial percentage of both groups of girls were refraining from using alcohol or substances, were in school and planning to finish, and were relatively confident about their post-high school educational plans. The groups were virtually identical in terms of future orientation, with both expressing moderately positive views about their futures. One of the patterns that emerged from the data was that girls that had experienced some form of sexual abuse had also experienced significantly more emotional and physical neglect and abuse, compared to the girls that had not reported any sexual abuse experiences. When type of maltreatment was taken into consideration, the sexually abused girls showed a consistent pattern of marked increase in clinically significant symptomology compared to the youth that had not experienced sexual abuse. The most significant differences were seen around mental health and behavioral problems. The sexually abused girls were also more likely to have been hospitalized and to be taking psychotropic medications. The constellation of problems identified places these youth at high risk for negative independent living outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, mental illness, addiction, homelessness, incarceration, revictimization, and suicide. 3 tables, 52 references
Main Term(s): Foster adolescents; Sexually abused adolescents
Index Term(s): Abused-nonabused child comparisons; Adolescent abuse; Adolescent attitudes; Family histories; Juvenile foster homes; Victim reactions to crime
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