The impact of sexual abuse on female development: lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study

 

 

Author(s)Trickett, Penelope K., Jennie G. Noll and Frank W. Putnam
Title The impact of sexual abuse on female development: lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study
Source Development and Psychopathology,May 2011, Vol. 23, Number 2, pp 453-476
Date 2011
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This article outlines the findings of a 23-year longitudinal study of the impact of interfamilial sexual abuse on female development. Participants spanned three generations: the original sample of victims sexually abused as a child, their caregivers (usually their mother) and the offspring of the sexually abused females. It was found that there were many differences between the participants in the abuse group and the control group and individual differences or variability in adverse impact among the abused females. One finding was that early onset of abuse, abuse severity and duration of abuse were all positively and significantly intercorrelated. Results when the participants were aged 20 and 25 also indicated that sexually abused females were almost twice as likely to have experienced sexual revictimisation and physical revictimisation compared to victimisation rates reported by comparison females. Treatment options are discussed, and the authors conclude that due to the complexity and diversity of sequelae and the variability in outcome within the group of sexually abused females, it is likely that no single treatment model will effectively address the resulting psychopathology, risky behaviours and global dysfunction found among child abuse victims.
Keywords Sexual assault; longitudinal study; psychopathology; risky behaviours;  revictimisation; domestic violence; psychological effects
Topic

Sexual assault