ERIC Number: ED326805
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Long-Term Effects of Childhood Victimization: The Moderating Impact of Social Support.
Testa, Maria; And Others
The role of social support in moderating the impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult psychological adjustment was examined. Women were drawn from three clinical samples (women in treatment for alcoholism, for being battered, or for mental health treatment) and two nonclinical sources (women arrested for driving while intoxicated and a random sample). Subjects completed face-to-face interviews that included both structured and open-ended questions. Subjects also completed the Symptom Checklist-90 to assess general psychiatric symptomatology, the Janis Self-Esteem Scale to measure self-esteem, and the Trauma Symptom Checklist to measure post sexual abuse trauma and dissociation. Of the 477 subjects, 238 had been sexually abused as children. Sixty-eight percent of the women in alcoholism treatment, 62% of the battered women, and 63% of the women in mental health treatment reported being sexually abused as children compared to 21% in the driving while intoxicated group and 39% in the random sample. Sexually abused women in the nonclinical samples who perceived others' responses to be supportive exhibited more positive adult adjustment scores than did women who did not perceive others to be supportive. Psychological adjustment of the socially supported nonclinical women did not differ from that of nonclinical women who had not been abused. Among clinical women, childhood sexual abuse was associated with poorer adult adjustment; however, there was little evidence that social support ameliorated the negative effects of sexual abuse. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology (Baltimore, MD, November 7-10, 1990).