The long-term mental health consequences of child sexual abuse: An exploratory study of the impact of multiple traumas in a sample of women


The current study examined exposure to multiple traumas as mediators of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and negative adult mental health outcomes. Participants were 174 women interviewed in the third wave of a longitudinal study of the consequences of child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse victims reported a lifetime history of more exposure to various traumas and higher levels of mental health symptoms. Exposure to traumas in both childhood and adulthood other than child sexual abuse mediated the relationship between child sexual abuse and psychological distress in adulthood. There were also some significant direct effects for child sexual abuse on some outcome measures. Results point to the importance of understanding the interconnected nature of trauma exposure for some survivors.

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Journal of Traumatic Stress



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Copyright © 2001 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies