College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Characteristics of Childhood Sexual Abuse among Female Survivors in Therapy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Keywords

Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Abuse Characteristics, Multiple Perpetrators

Publication Title

Child Abuse and Neglect

ISSN

0145-2134

Volume

20

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Characteristics of the abuse experienced by 135 women entering an outpatient treatment program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse were assessed utilizing a structured clinical interview. Areas assessed included: nature, frequency and duration of the abuse; participant's age at onset of abuse; perpetrator characteristics; childhood physical abuse experiences; and circumstances leading to abuse cessation. Participants who had been molested by more than one perpetrator were administered questions about the abuse committed by each perpetrator separately. Abuse by the first individual to molest a participant was found to be more likely to be incestuous, of higher frequency, and more extensive and invasive than that by later perpetrators. Survivors seeking therapy indicated experiencing considerably more severe abuse, at a younger age, for longer duration, and at the hands of more perpetrators than previously reported in the literature on nonclinical samples of survivors.

DOI

10.1016/0145-2134(96)00001-4

Peer Reviewed

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