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NCJ Number: 169119 Find in a Library
Title: Mothers of Sexually Abused Children and the Concept of Collusion: A Literature Review
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(1997)  Pages:75-92
Author(s): P A Joyce
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 18
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature review examines recent literature that relates to mothers of incestuously abused children and the concept of collusion.
Abstract: The review focused on the mother's psychological development and personality characteristics, the mother's response to the disclosure of the sexual abuse, and the mother's relationship with the victimized child. Recent research shows that mothers of children sexually abused within the family are not necessarily more disturbed psychologically than mothers of nonabused children; mothers respond in a number of ways to their children's sexual victimization; and most mothers believe that their children have been abused. Such findings pose a challenge to the notion of collusion, which persists as an explanatory concept in clinical practice. Humphreys' (1992) concept of a continuum aids in developing a new theoretical model to describe mothers more comprehensively. The continuum can be expanded to describe the range of behaviors and attitudes mothers display. At one extreme of the continuum are mothers who had knowledge of the abuse yet did not act to protect their children. At the other extreme are mothers who believed their children at disclosure and who took clear, decisive action to protect them. The continuum provides a construct for examining the social and psychological variables that enhance or limit a mother's capacity to believe and protect her sexually abused child. 2 tables and 39 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Incest; Parental attitudes; Parental influence
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