Sexually abused children’s behaviours: impact of gender and mother’s experience of intra- and extra-familial sexual abuse
Fiche mise à jour le 11 juin 2020
Three questions guided the inquiry of this study: (i) the influence of a mother’s experience of sexual abuse on the sexual abuse behaviours experienced by her child; (ii) to examine child behaviour as it relates to the type of sexual abuse and to gender; and (iii) to explore indicators of family functioning in incestuous and non-incestuous families.
Using two self-report assessment measures and a semi-structured intake interview, an intake group design was used with 104 sexually abused children (52 males and 52 females), and their 104 mothers (50 with a history of sexual abuse and 54 without such histories).
The incested children displayed significantly more sexualized behaviour than children molested out of the home. Sexually abused males exhibited significantly more sexual behaviour than females. Incested mothers reported significantly more substance abuse on their own part and in their families of origin, and also more physical abuse in these same families.
The findings from this study suggest that incestuous families suffer from a multitude of problems such as intergenerational substance abuse and physical abuse. Also differences between male and female sexually abused children with regard to their sexualized behaviours were clearly noted.Mots clés SantéPsy :