A Comparison of Self-Reported Emotional and Trauma-Related Concerns Among Sexually Abused Children With and Without Sexual Behavior Problems

Brian Allen, Brian L. Thorn, Kevin J. Gully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerous studies document concomitant features of sexual behavior problems (SBPs) among children 12 years of age or younger, but rarely does research involve child self-report assessments. This study provides the most comprehensive examination to date of self-reported concerns among children with SBP, using a large sample (N = 392) of clinically referred participants who reported sexual abuse histories. Children between the ages of 8 and 12 were categorized as demonstrating SBP (n = 203) or not demonstrating SBP (n = 189) as determined by scores on the Child Sexual Behavior Inventory. Children completed the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children, and caregivers completed the Child Behavior Checklist. Self-reports of children showed that those with SBP reported significantly greater concerns in all areas, including sexual preoccupation and sexual distress, than their peers not demonstrating SBP. Caregivers of children in the SBP group reported greater concerns of internalizing and externalizing problems than the caregivers of children who did not have SBP. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. Specifically, it is recommended that future research improve on the manner in which sexual abuse and SBPs were defined and assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-140
Number of pages5
JournalChild Maltreatment
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2015

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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