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ERIC Number: EJ863539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Experience of Sexual Abuse in Childhood and Abortion in Adolescence and Early Adulthood
Boden, Joseph M.; Fergusson, David M.; Horwood, L. John
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v33 n12 p870-876 Dec 2009
Objective: The present study examined the associations between the experience of sexual abuse in childhood (CSA) and the number of abortions in adolescence and early adulthood. Method: A 25-year prospective longitudinal study of the health, development, and adjustment of a birth cohort of 1,265 New Zealand children (630 females). Measures included assessments of experience of CSA using retrospective data gathered at ages 18 and 21, self-reported abortions from ages 15 to 25, measures of childhood socio-economic disadvantage, family stability, family functioning, experience of childhood physical abuse, and pregnancy in adolescence and early adulthood. Results: Severity of CSA experience was significantly (p less than 0.01) associated with an increasing rate of abortions during ages 15-25. Adjustment of the association for potentially confounding factors from childhood reduced the magnitude of the association, but it remained marginally statistically significant (p less than 0.10). However, controlling for the mediating effects of pregnancy risk in adolescence and early adulthood reduced the association between experience of CSA and abortion to statistical non-significance (p greater than 0.70). Conclusions: The current study suggested that the association between experience of CSA and increased rates of abortion was mediated by the increased rates of pregnancy associated with CSA experiences. The results suggest a causal chain in which experience of CSA leads to increased rates of pregnancy, which in turn leads to increased rates of abortion. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand