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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158162 Find in a Library
Title: Incest Revisited: Delayed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Mothers Following the Sexual Abuse of Their Children
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:19  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1995)  Pages:1275-1282
Author(s): A H Green; P Coupe; R Fernandez; B Stevens
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents the case histories of four women who developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder following the disclosure of the sexual abuse of their daughters.
Abstract: The women also manifested severe personality disorders. Each of the women had been an incest victim during childhood. Three were evaluated at an outpatient treatment program for abused children, and one was referred to a private psychiatrist for consultation. The mothers responded to the discovery of the sexual abuse of their daughters with a flood of intrusive memories and a re-experiencing of painful effects associated with their own childhood molestation. They also displayed autonomic hyperarousal and psychic numbing as a manifestation of delayed post-traumatic stress disorder. Episodes of major or atypical depression were also triggered by the disclosure of sexual abuse. Three of the four women had also been suicidal. Each mother had experienced symptoms of anxiety in the past, including post- traumatic stress disorder symptoms, but the latter diagnosis had never been considered. Somatization or conversion reactions were present in three of these women. All of them displayed evidence of extreme impulsivity. None of these women had been able to disclose or discuss their victimization in the past. Follow-up data were available for the first three case studies. Each made considerable treatment gains in the following areas: no further exacerbations of post-traumatic stress disorder, less symptomatic, a gradual decrease in their reliance on medication, an increase in self-esteem, improved parenting skills, and more effective management of stress. 19 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Case histories; Incest; Parental attitudes; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
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