Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
College of Psychology
Steven N. Gold
childhood sexual abuse, consent, family environment, psychological functioning, psychology, sexuality
In 1998 Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman conducted a meta-analysis using a college sample which challenged the prevailing belief that childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has inherent deleterious effects. Resultantly, the authors proposed alternative terminology (e.g., child-adult sex), without adequate investigation into what distinguishes child-adult sex from CSA. In response, the current study investigated the relationship between CSA, consent and adult functioning in a college sample. The sample consisted of 297 undergraduate college students, ranging in age from 18 to 63-years-old. Data was collected at a mid-sized university in the southeastern United States. The measures utilized in the study include the Symptom Checklist-90 Revised (SCL 90-R), Characteristics of First Sexual Experiences and Demographics Survey, Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale-Second Edition (FACES-II), and the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning-Revised (DISF-R). Proposed questions were, 1) prevalence of CSA in the college sample 2) the effect of CSA status and consent on the outcome measures and 3) differences in consent between the CSA and non-CSA groups. The findings were that approximately 10% of the sample reported experiencing CSA, that sexual orientation (e.g., SCL 90-R) and perceived consent of the sexual experience (e.g., SCL 90-R and FACES-II) were the only variables that significantly impacted outcomes scores, and that participants in the CSA group were significantly more likely to report being victimized in their first sexual experiences. These results suggest that based on CSA status, a college sample does not exhibit significant deficits in psychological functioning or family environment and may not be comparable to samples of CSA survivors in the general population.
Daly, N. R.
(2021). Relationship of Child Sexual Abuse Survivor Self-Perception of Consent to Current Functioning. .
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_stuetd/136