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NCJ Number: 222329 Find in a Library
Title: Mothers' Protection of Their Children After Discovering They Have Been Sexually Abused: An Information-Processing Perspective
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:32  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:245-259
Author(s): Carol Coohey; Patrick O'Leary
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The intent of this study was to understand why some nonoffending mothers did not protect their children consistently after they knew they were sexually abused.
Abstract: The results indicate that several variables explained 47 percent of the variance in the multivariate analysis. If the mother did not ask the abuser whether the abuse occurred, attributed responsibility to the abuse, believed consistently that the abuse occurred, and was not a victim of domestic violence, then the mother was more likely to protect her child consistently. Some maternal characteristics believed to affect protectiveness, such as a mother’s mental health and substance abuse, were not related to whether they protected their children consistently; however, other variables, such as domestic violence were. When children disclose sexual abuse, the response they receive is critical to their ongoing protection and well-being. Previous research indicated that sexually abused children who received consistent maternal support functioned better in childhood and adolescence, and adulthood than children who did not receive consistent maternal support. This study addressed some limitations in previous research and introduced several theoretically important concepts. It examined whether mothers believed and protected their children consistently. It was hypothesized that mothers who did not believe that the abuse occurred consistently will be less likely to have children who are protected consistently. A case comparison study design was used to compare mothers who did and did not protect their children consistently from sexual abuse. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Home environment; Parental attitudes; Parental influence
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