skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201981 Find in a Library
Title: Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse: An Analysis of Coping Mechanisms Used for Stressful Childhood Memories and Current Stressors
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:August 2003  Pages:227-239
Author(s): Kristine T. Futa; Cindy L. Nash; David J. Hansen; Calvin P. Garbin
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study assessed the coping mechanisms used by 196 women to deal with stressful childhood memories and current stressors; the women were grouped by the following histories: no abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and both sexual and physical abuse.
Abstract: All of the participants were undergraduate students at a large Midwestern university, with an average age of 19.2 years. Most of the women were White (91.8 percent), and the remainder were African-American (1.0 percent), Hispanic-American (1.5 percent), Asian-American (2.0 percent), and foreign exchange students (2.6 percent). The Childhood Experiences Form was used to assess each participant's possible past experiences with childhood physical and sexual abuse. The Assessment of Childhood Memories Form was developed for this study in order to identify significant memories from childhood. The Assessment of Recent Stressor Form solicited information on recent stressful events. The College Adjustment Scales was used to measure overall adjustment as well as adjustment on these specific scales: anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, self-esteem problems, interpersonal problems, family problems, academic problems, and career problems. Discriminant functions analyses of the data showed a variety of significant differences between the groups in the use of strategies for coping with memories of abuse or another type of childhood stressor. There was no relationship between childhood history of abuse and the manner in which the women coped with a current stressor. Women with an abuse history reported significantly poorer adult psychological and social adjustment than did nonabused women. Different coping strategies were predictive of adjustment for abused and nonabused women. The abused groups had lower scores on social support seeking and self-isolating and higher scores on self-blaming and wishful thinking when dealing with childhood memories, as well as higher scores on self-isolating tendencies when dealing with current stressors. For the no-abuse group, poorer adjustment was associated with higher scores on self-isolating and self-blaming when dealing with childhood memories and higher scores on emphasizing the positive and wishful thinking when dealing with current stressors. 6 tables and 59 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Behavior patterns; Behavior typologies; Behavior under stress; Child abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; Individual behavior; Long term health effects of child abuse; Psychological victimization effects
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.