The impact of childhood sexual abuse on psychological distress among women in New Zealand

 

Author(s)Flett, Ross A., Nikolaos Kazantzis, Nigel R. Long, Carol MacDonald, Michelle Millar, Bronwyn Clark, Howard Edwards and Alexandra M. Petrik
Title The impact of childhood sexual abuse on psychological distress among women in New Zealand
Source Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing,February 2012, Vol 25, Issue 1, pp 25-32
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage New Zealand
Summary This study explores the impact of childhood sexual abuse in a community sample of 961 New Zealand women. The participants were interviewed in person in structured interviews and included the use of the Mental Health Inventory to assess psychological distress and a life event scale developed specifically for the study. It was found that 13% women reported having been sexually abused during childhood and individuals reporting child sex abuse were more likely to report higher rates of physical symptoms, psychological symptoms and more stressful life events than non-victims. Various factors were found to predict psychological distress including, victims who were younger, less satisfied with their standard of living, victims living in urban areas and those having more physical health symptoms. The clinical implications of the study are discussed and the importance of identifying childhood sexual abuse in the treatment of psychological disorders in adulthood is emphasised.
Keywords Childhood sexual abuse; impact; trauma; treatment; PTSD
Topic Psychological effects and treatment