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NCJ Number: 165972 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Crocodile Talk: Attributions of Incestuously Abused and Nonabused Sisters
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1997)  Pages:19-34
Author(s): K Monahan
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: PHS-MH-19107-06
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study qualitative analyzed attributions of five abused and nonabused sister dyads and five abused sister dyads who grew up in incestuous families.
Abstract: Study participants ranged in age from 25 to 49 years; 60 percent were married, 15 percent were divorced, and 15 percent had never married. Ten percent of the sample did not finish high school, while 20 percent completed high school. To volunteer for the study, one had to have a childhood history of father-daughter incest, including memory of the abuse. Study participants were administered a demographic data sheet and a series of questionnaires measuring sexual abuse history. Each participant also completed a face-to-face interview that was designed to assess severity of incest abuse, feelings and attitudes toward disclosure, resistance and coping, victim blaming in the family, victim selection, family roles, subsequent impact of incest on the victim in terms of family life, and how the participant felt incest affected her view of the world and her relationship with her sister. Sisters discussed victim selection and their cognitions about why one would or would not be chosen to be abused. Nonabused sisters tended to attribute their status to the ability to be more assertive or knowledgeable. Abused sisters tended to see themselves as unlucky, bad, or lacking the ability to avoid molestation. This image repeatedly emerged when women discussed revictimization. While cognitions of sisters regarding victim selection, jealousy, and rivalry over sibling roles varied, they were able to consistently describe family scenarios in which violence, chaos, and unpredictability were the norm. Many women were ambivalent, demonstrating that incest may have left its mark by making a supportive, trusting, and functional adult sibling relationship difficult at best. Additional research is recommended to evaluate nonabused siblings from incestuous families, the sibling relationship in general, and how family dysfunction affects attributional style and world view. 51 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Female victims; Incest; Male offenders; Parent-Child Relations; Psychological victimization effects; Sexual assault victims
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