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NCJ Number: 140486 Find in a Library
Title: Early Indicators of Pathological Dissociation in Sexually Abused Children
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:16  Issue:6  Dated:(November-December 1992)  Pages:833-846
Author(s): L P McElroy
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Dissociative disorders, including multiple personality disorder (MPD), have been increasingly recognized by psychologists and psychiatrists as a potential result of early childhood sexual abuse. Because MPD can cause severe impairment and psychological distress, and it thought to originate in childhood, early recognition of pathological dissociation and predictors of MPD is an area of great concern.
Abstract: Although several specific symptom patterns have been identified retrospectively in adults who were victimized as children, less information is available on the acute psychiatric status of sexually abused children. Post-traumatic stress disorder is another increasingly visible diagnostic category being applied to children. Core features of pathological dissociation in abused children identified in this article include the development of symptoms, initial presentation and symptom checklist, and imaginary companions and role play. Two case studies described here are used to illustrate dissociative symptomatology in abused children. While the children did improve somewhat from individual, group, and family therapy that was not specifically directed toward dissociative phenomena, the author contends that a more focused approach might have ameliorated their symptoms more rapidly and completely. 69 references
Main Term(s): Abused children; Psychological victimization effects
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; Juvenile psychological evaluation
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