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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221879 Find in a Library
Title: Resilience in Sexually Abused Women: Risk and Protective Factors
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:23  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:81-88
Author(s): Faith H. McClure; David V. Chavez; Mark D. Agars; M. Jean Peacock; Amy Matosian
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: For a sample of 177 university women who had experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA), this study examined the association of family characteristics (family conflict and cohesion) and abuse characteristics (age at which abuse occurred, abuse severity, and relationship to perpetrator) with resilience (self-acceptance, ability to engage in positive relationships with others, and environmental mastery).
Abstract: The study found that family functioning exerted a significant influence on the long-term adjustment of CSA survivors, impacting how they felt about themselves, their ability to establish and sustain healthy relationships, as well as their sense of competence in managing their daily affairs. Family cohesion and family conflict accounted for significant proportions of the variance in positive and negative ways, respectively, in the well-being of the subjects. Negative parental responses and lack of support can exacerbate the negative effects of molestation; and support and cohesion within the family can reduce psychological distress, enhance self-esteem, and promote social competence. Specific features of abuse accounted for relatively small amounts of the variance in psychological outcomes in CSA survivors. The findings suggest that interventions that teach families to nurture and support one another can modify the potentially detrimental impact of molestation on children's ability to engage in healthy relationships. Study participants were 177 women attending a State university in Southern California who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse. Their mean age was 27.8 years old. Respondents who reported sexual experiences prior to age 16 with someone 5 years old or older were considered sexually abused. Childhood sexual abuse was measured with a modified version of Finkelhor's (1979) Childhood Experience Survey. Scale of Psychological Well-Being assessed six dimensions of psychological well-being or positive psychological functioning. Family characteristics were assessed with the Family Environment Scale. Demographic and general information were also collected. 4 tables and 56 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; California; Child Sexual Abuse; Coping; Family support; Offense characteristics; Parent-Child Relations; Psychological victimization effects
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