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NCJ Number: 200138 Find in a Library
Title: Log-Linear Analysis of Variables Associated with Self-Mutilation Behaviors of Women with Histories of Child Sexual Abuse
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:487-512
Author(s): Susan C. Turell; Mary W. Armsworth
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors that self-mutilate as compared to those that do not.
Abstract: Self-mutilation behavior is defined as the conscious intent to harm oneself by a repetitive pattern of low lethality, socially unacceptable behavior that results in the actual physical alteration of the body. In the past two decades, studies have proposed a connection between CSA and self-mutilation. This study was an attempt to determine which variables differentiated individuals that self-injured from those that did not. There are several predisposing variables associated with either self-mutilation behavior or a history of CSA. These variables were separated into categories: CSA, family, demographic, and psychological. CSA variables include longer duration of CSA, parental perpetrators, older perpetrators, greater frequency of sexual abuse, and vaginal intercourse. Family variables include the loss of a parent at a young age and the presence of physical violence. Demographic variables include younger children and being employed in medically related fields. Psychological variables include depression, the ability to dissociate, substance abuse, and problems related to body image and eating disorders. Participants from a metropolitan area in the southeastern United States completed a research packet that included demographic and descriptive questionnaires and assessment instruments for the study. The instruments included a demographic questionnaire, sexual attitude survey, Diagnostic Inventory of Personality and Symptoms, Dissociative Events Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory. The log-linear model tested indicated that self-mutilation by a CSA survivor was more likely given the presence of four variables: (1) physical and physiological abuse in one’s family of origin; (2) history of anorexia or bulimia; and (3) current high levels of dissociation; and (4) current high levels of depression. Sexual dysfunction and negative body image were seen more often in self-mutilators but were observed in many of the non-mutilators as well. Successful identification of clients that self-mutilate can help facilitate counseling by allowing the psychotherapist to introduce discussion of the topic and decrease the secrecy and shame attached to this behavior. 4 tables, 58 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Self mutilation
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Crimes against children; Deviance; Eating disorders; Psychological victimization effects; Sexual assault trauma
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