Title

Impact of Child Sexual Abuse. A Review of the Research

Abstract

Abstract

This article reviews studies that have tried to confirm empirically the effects of child sexual abuse cited in the clinical literature. In regard to initial effects, empirical studies have indicated reactions-in at least some portion of the victim population-of fear, anxiety, depression, anger and hostility, aggression, and sexually inappropriate behavior. Frequently reported long-term effects include depression and self-destructive behavior, anxiety, feelings of isolation and stigma, poor self-esteem, difficulty in trusting others, a tendency toward revictimization, substance abuse, and sexual maladjustment. The kinds of abuse that appear to be most damaging, according to the empirical studies, are experiences involving father figures, genital contact, and force. The controversy over the impact of child sexual abuse is discussed, and recommendations for future research efforts are suggested.

Publication Date

1-1986

Journal Title

Psychological Bulletin

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1037/0033-2909.99.1.66

Document Type

Article

Rights

© 1986 American Psychological Association.