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NCJ Number: 221919 Find in a Library
Title: Family Factors That Differentiate Sexually Abused and Nonabused Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:18  Issue:5  Dated:May 2003  Pages:471-489
Author(s): Dawn H.S. Reinemann; Kevin D. Stark; Susan M. Swearer
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether family factors differentiated sexually abused from nonabused adolescent psychiatric inpatients.
Abstract: After controlling for adolescents' level of depression, those adolescents who were sexually abused described their families as using a more authoritarian parenting style and as more enmeshed than their nonabused adolescent counterparts. Moreover, perceived negative messages from fathers about the world differentiated the sexually abused youth from the nonabused participants. Apparently, families of sexually abused children exhibited more overall maladaptive family functioning and were more rigid and controlling. Sexually abused youth characterized their parents as using a harsher, punitive parenting style than their nonabused counterparts. They also reported blurred boundaries between family members, a finding consistent with that of Hoagwood and Steward (1989), who reported that sexually abused children perceived more role confusion in their families than their nonabused peers. Moreover, their findings remained significant regardless of whether the children experienced intrafamilial or extrafamilial abuse. In contrast, the dimensions related to family values and relationships among members failed to predict abuse status. Perceived negative messages from father figures predicted those who were sexually abused; however, perceived messages from mothers failed to discriminate between groups. Although causal relationships were not examined, results of this study support the view that sexually abused adolescents experience negative messages from their nonoffending father figures. Sexually abused females reported greater levels of depression than sexually abused males. These findings indicate it is important for therapists to address the parenting styles and boundaries between family members in a comprehensive treatment package that targets all members of the family system following one member's sexual victimization. Fifty-seven psychiatric inpatients, ages 11 to 17, who either had experienced sexual abuse or had no history of sexual victimization completed a diagnostic interview and were assessed on a variety of family variables. 2 tables and 38 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Adolescent abuse; Comparative analysis; Emotional disorders; Parent-Child Relations; Sexually abused adolescents
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