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Current Psychological Functioning of Child Sexual Assault Survivors: A Community Study

NCJ Number
111604
Date Published
January 1988
Length
25 pages
Author(s)
A Amick-McMullan, C L Best, D G Kilpatrick, S M Murphy, J Paduhovich, B E Saunders, L J Veronen, L A Villeponteaux
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
Interviews were conducted in South Carolina with a community sample of 391 women to obtain a thorough history of lifetime victimization experiences, including experiences such as childhood and adult sexual assault, robbery, and burglary.
Abstract
To assess current psychological functioning, participants were administered the Derogatis Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, the Modified Fear Survey, and the Impact of Event Scale. Results indicated that childhood sexual abuse victims could be distinguished from nonvictims by a pattern of elevated anxiety, heightened interpersonal sensitivity, increased anger problems, more paranoid ideation, and increased obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The age at which sexual assault took place was related to current adult functioning, with women assaulted in adolescence displaying greater elevations in hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, anxiety, and paranoid ideation than nonvictims. Women sexually abused early in childhood displayed only elevated anxiety as adults, although they also showed significantly more psychological symptoms on a global mental health measure than did nonvictims. Revictimization was strongly related to increased symptomatology. 33 references and 6 tables. (Author abstract modified)
Date Created: December 30, 1988