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NCJ Number: 165006 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Process Model for Understanding Adaptation to Sexual Abuse: The Role of Shame in Defining Stigmatization
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:20  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1996)  Pages:767-782
Author(s): C Feiring; L Taska; M Lewis
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH49885
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a theoretical and testable model that specifies psychological processes related to the traumagenic dynamics of stigmatization in child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse.
Abstract: Although sexual abuse in childhood places the individual at risk for a variety of problems, research indicates wide variation in victims' adjustment. There is limited work that attempts to explain systematically processes by which children adjust to the trauma. Few studies have examined any theory about what causes children to be symptomatic. The proposed model suggests that sexual abuse leads to shame through the mediation of cognitive attributions about the abuse; and shame, in turn, leads to poor adjustment. Three factors -- social support, gender, and developmental period -- are hypothesized to moderate the proposed stigmatization process. Developmental and clinical research that supports the model is reviewed; specific hypotheses are offered; and the relevance of developmental psychopathology for future theory and research is discussed. Unless future research clarifies the process and circumstances whereby the experience of sexual abuse leads to poor adjustment, little progress will be made toward the development of more effective treatments. 1 figure and 136 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child development; Child Sexual Abuse; Models; Psychological victimization effects
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