College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Jan Faust

Second Advisor

Christian DeLucia

Third Advisor

Steven Gold

Keywords

Adjustment, Child Sexual Abuse, Family Environment

Abstract

The study sought to examine the influence of differences in perception of the family environment on adjustment following child sexual abuse. Eighty-eight children who had been sexually abused and their caregivers completed self-report measures regarding the Relationship Dimension of the Family Environment Scale (FES). Adjustment was measured by child report of posttraumatic stress and sexual concerns on the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSC-C) and depression on the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). Parent's report of adjustment was based on endorsement of internalizing and externalizing behaviors on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Analysis revealed elevated expressiveness for parents and children, higher conflict and lower cohesion reported by adolescents (12- 18), and lower conflict endorsed by children (6-11) as compared to the normative sample. Differences were noted in adolescent perception of conflict as compared to their primary caregiver; however, adolescent discrepancy scores of the family environment did not predict outcome. Caregivers reported higher internalizing and externalizing behaviors for the sample as compared to the normative sample.

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