ERIC Number: ED341941
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-26
Dual Vulnerability of Sexually Victimized Mothers and Sexually Victimized Children: A Longitudinal Study.
Newberger, Eli H.; And Others
Clinical approaches to child sexual abuse have been constrained by limited knowledge of the family dimensions of the problem. This study compared the psychiatric responses of women with and without sexual abuse histories to disclosures of their children's sexual abuse, and assessed the relationship of these histories to the nature of the child's victimization. A cohort of sexually abused children was followed at three points up to a year's interval after disclosure with measures of maternal and child victimization experiences, changing psychiatric symptoms, life stresses, and family structure. Children (N=49) and their mothers (N=44) were recruited from a pediatric hospital emergency department and from district attorneys' offices. Sixteen mothers reported having been sexually abused in childhood. Maternal and child psychiatric symptoms were assessed. Mothers who had been sexually abused differed significantly from those who had not with regard to their children's abuse, which was more severe, more frequently intrafamilial, and more often involved force. They also differed significantly regarding their own psychiatric response profiles, which showed no decline over time. The duration of the mother's victimization in childhood was strongly associated with the perpetrator's use of force on the child. The mother's child abuse experiences were associated both with the nature of their children's abuse experiences and with their own responses to the disclosure of these experiences. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. National Inst. of Justice.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.; National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS/OHDS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (7th, Washington, DC, October 26, 1991).