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ERIC Number: EJ883765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Sex Differences in Childhood Sexual Abuse Characteristics and Victims' Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Findings from a National Sample of Youth
Maikovich-Fong, Andrea Kohn; Jaffee, Sara R.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v34 n6 p429-437 Jun 2010
Objective: The first objective of this study was to test for sex differences in four childhood sexual abuse characteristics--penetration, substantiation, perpetrator familial status, and multi-maltreatment--in a national sample of youth. The second objective was to test for sex differences in how these abuse characteristics were associated with victims' emotional and behavioral problems. Methods: The sample was drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a sample of children investigated by United States child welfare services. Youth in the current study (n = 573, including 234 adolescents) were investigated for alleged sexual abuse. Logistic regression and multivariate analysis of covariance were used to test for sex differences in abuse characteristics, and to determine whether sex moderated associations between abuse characteristics and emotional and behavioral problems. Results: Girls were more likely than boys to have their abuse substantiated and to experience penetrative abuse (although differences in penetration status did not emerge among adolescents). Substantiation status and child age were positively associated with caregiver-reported internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Sex did not moderate the relationship between abuse characteristics and youth emotional and behavioral problems. Conclusions: Sexual abuse characteristics might not be highly predictive factors when making decisions about services needs. Furthermore, there may not be a strong empirical basis for operating on the assumption that one sex is more vulnerable to negative consequences of abuse than the other, or that abuse affects girls and boys differently. The processes explaining why some victims exhibit more impairment than others are likely complex. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A