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NCJ Number: 165970 Find in a Library
Title: Sexually Abused Children in a National Survey of Parents: Methodological Issues
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1997)  Pages:1-9
Author(s): D Finkelhor; D Moore; S L Hamby; M A Straus
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 9
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In a national survey of 1,000 parents about disciplinary practices and violence toward their children, questions were asked about whether the children had been sexually abused in order to assess the feasibility of epidemiological research on contemporaneous sexual abuse using parental interviews rather than the usual adult retrospective approach.
Abstract: Questions on sexual abuse were included in a national telephone survey on the topic of child discipline and child abuse conducted in 1995. The survey focused primarily on parent-child relations, but four questions at the very end asked about sexual abuse. Based on responses to these questions, rates of sexual abuse for children up to 17 years of age were estimated at 1.19 percent in the last year and 5.7 percent overall. Cases comprising these rates included a nearly equal number of boys and girls and no female victims between 9 and 12 years of age. This distribution was different from those generally obtained by other epidemiological methods, due possibly to normal sampling variation. Sexual abuse cases were more likely to be disclosed for children whose parents had themselves been sexually abused, who were from lower income households, or who were living with only one biological parent. Although some of the findings suggest caution in generalizing about child sexual abuse from survey samples of parents, the method is worthy of exploration if only to gain better epidemiological data about parent knowledge, reaction, reporting, and coping strategies. 7 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; National crime surveys; Research methods; Sexual assault victims
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