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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153423 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Trauma Within the Context of Traumatic and Inescapable Stress, Neglect and Poisonous Pedagogy
Author(s): M F Schwartz; L Galperin; W Masters
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Masters and Johnson Institute
St Louis, MO 63139
Sale Source: Masters and Johnson Institute
Sexual Trauma, Compulsivity and Dissociative Disorders Program
1 Campbell Plaza, Suite 4B
59th and Arsenal Streets
St Louis, MO 63139
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors explore depression, anxiety, compulsive re- enactment, susceptibility to revictimization, dissociation, somatization, relational and intimacy distress, and personality development that result from sexual trauma in the context of inescapable stress.
Abstract: Whenever a person experiences severe and chronic stress that is inescapable for prolonged periods, the result is different than post-traumatic stress after an overwhelming acute event that has a termination point. Child victims of sexual abuse and neglect learn to suppress their natural responses and instead develop a range of psychological symptoms. As children get older, they may lack the ability for introspection or simple enjoyment and may instead feel increasingly driven to attain and acquire more in order to escape the feeling of inner emptiness. Even if children are counseled soon after their sexual victimization, they are often unable to disclose or remember the details verbally. This phenomenon reflects dissociation or the separation of trauma-related emotions, thoughts, sensations, and behavior. For abused children, dissociation is an automatic survival strategy. By deflecting the traumatic experience into a separate consciousness, dissociation allows continued daily functioning to be possible. One study indicates that the common natural result of severe trauma is repetition, consisting of flashbacks, intrusions, and re-enactment, until mastery of the original stress occurs. Other studies show that traumatic stress affects the autonomic nervous system and the ability of individuals to mediate various cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The authors discuss ways of dealing with trauma and treatment approaches to help individuals learn to have normal relationships. 13 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Mental disorders; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological research; Psychological victimization effects; Sexual assault trauma; Treatment techniques
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