College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Steven N. Gold

Second Advisor

David Reitman

Third Advisor

Edward R Simco

Abstract

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has a demonstrated negative effect on adult functioning. Various treatment modalities have been proposed for treating the pathology associated with a history of CSA. The posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) conceptualization of CSA is inadequate for explaining the diverse symptom picture among CSA victims. There is little empirical support for treatment programs designed for CSA survivors. Potential drawbacks of trauma-focused interventions for CSA survivors include deterioration in patient functioning and lack of teaching of daily living skills. The effectiveness of a brief (six to eleven session) protocol based on Contextual Treatment (Gold, 2000) is investigated utilizing a multiple baseline across subjects design. Affective profiles of the three participants are also analyzed. Outcomes indicate preliminary support for a portion of the treatment, the need for treatment protocols to take into account naturally occurring affective fluctuations, and the importance of addressing therapy compliance when initiating a treatment program for individuals with a history of CSA.

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