The effects of childhood molestation on the functioning of adult survivors : implications for the disposition of sex abuse cases Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x920g208s

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  • Research indicates that child sex abuse contributes to emotional and behavioral dysfunction in adult survivors. However, no one factor within the abuse experience has been found to independently affect adult functioning, and it is unclear if several factors acting together influence degree of dysfunction. This study compared the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores of 54 adult women survivors, who were clients of several counseling services, with their answers on a questionnaire about seven factors within the abuse experience. These factors were: the number of abusers, the relationship of abuser and abused, the age of the victim when first abused, the duration of the first abuse, the degree of coercion used by the first abuser, the degree of sexual intrusion during the first abuse, and if the child felt arousal during abuse by the first perpetrator. The results of this study tended to agree with the literature in that age of the victim and duration of the molestation experience affected adult functioning. Subjects who were very young (birth through age three) had lower scores, indicating greater dysfunction, as did subjects who were abused for over five years by the first abuser. Disagreement with the literature was found in that whether or not a child felt arousal during the experiences was not found to be significant as to GAF scores. No significant differences were found as to: number of abusers, degree of coercion, type of sexual activity, or relationship of abuser and abused. Discriminate analysis of all seven variables indicated that further research into how these factors interact is needed, as when all seven variables were weighed, there was better than chance that GAF scores could be correctly predicted using the factors studied in this project.
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