Psychosocial characteristics of nonoffending mothers of sexually abused girls: Findings from a prospective, multigenerational study

Kihyun Kim, Jennie G. Noll, Frank W. Putnam, Penelope K. Trickett

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Abstract

This study examined psychosocial characteristics of nonoffending mothers of sexually abused girls. The sample consisted of 72 ethnically diverse mothers of sexually abused girls aged 6 to 16 years, and 55 mothers of girls who were demographically similar with the abused girls on age, socioeconomic status, and family constellation. The variables examined included measures of the mothers' childhood developmental histories and current functioning (e.g., depression, parenting), as well as their current family environment. The specific questions addressed were (a) whether mothers of sexually abused girls could be distinguished from mothers of comparison girls on various psychosocial characteristics and (b) whether three subgroups of mothers (i.e., mother and daughter sexually abused, daughter-only abused, neither mother nor daughter abused) would exhibit different patterns of psychosocial characteristics. Results show that nonoffending mothers of sexually abused girls may confront considerable psychosocial challenges following the disclosure of their daughters' sexual abuse and that mother's own childhood abuse experiences may be an important factor to understand these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-351
Number of pages14
JournalChild Maltreatment
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2007

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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