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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220196 Find in a Library
Title: Positive Resolution of Childhood Sexual Abuse Experiences: The Role of Coping, Benefit-Finding and Meaning-Making
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:22  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:597-608
Author(s): Margaret O'Dougherty Wright; Emily Crawford; Katherine Sebastian
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used qualitative and quantitative analyses in examining how 60 adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse resolved the trauma of their abuse through coping strategies, perceived benefits, and "meaning-making" attempts.
Abstract: One of the study's strongest findings was that the use of avoidant coping was associated with significantly more depressive symptoms in this sample, accounting for 54 percent of the variance in such symptoms. Women who reported that their abuse was still largely unresolved were more likely to have relied on avoidant coping strategies than women whose abuse was mostly resolved. These findings are consistent with prior research. Some of the positive experiences the women identified as emerging from their efforts to deal with the trauma of the abuse were marital satisfaction, better physical health, and less isolation. These benefits resulted from efforts in the areas of improved relationships with others, religious or spiritual growth, and improved parenting skills. Some of the women mentioned increased knowledge of sexual abuse as a positive outcome; however, the mention of this benefit was linked to the negative outcome of more isolation and lower marital satisfaction. Effective resolution of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and subsequent positive adjustment were apparently related to a woman's ability to acknowledge her emotional pain while cultivating positive experiences and perceptions of her life and relationships. The 60 women were recruited through multimedia publicity that requested the participation of adult mothers who had experienced childhood sexual abuse. The women completed an anonymous mail-in questionnaire. The questionnaire solicited information on demographics and the abuse experience, along with assessments of perceived parenting stress, physical health, isolation, depression symptoms, and marital satisfaction. Open-ended questions were included as well. 4 tables and 40 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; Coping; Emotional disorders; Female victims; Long term health effects of child abuse
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