The effects of child sexual abuse in later family life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring

Roberts, Ron, O'Connor, Tom, Dunn, Judy and Golding, Jean (2004) The effects of child sexual abuse in later family life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28(5), pp. 525-545. ISSN (print) 0145-2134

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate links between child sexual abuse (occurring before 13 years), later mental health, family organization, parenting behaviors, and adjustment in offspring. METHOD: The present study investigates a subsample of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children an ongoing study of women and their families in the area of Avon, England. A sample of 8292 families met inclusion criteria for identifiable family type and completed self-report data on prior sexual assault. Further data were collected on life course variables, socioeconomic variables, psychological well-being, relationship quality, parent-child relationship quality, and children's adjustment. RESULTS: After adjustment for other childhood adversity, prior child sexual abuse was associated with a range of outcomes in adulthood, including current membership of a nontraditional family type (single mother and stepfather) poorer psychological well-being, teenage pregnancy, parenting behaviors, and adjustment problems in the victim's later offspring. The relationship of child sexual abuse with aspects of the parent-child relationship in later life and with the offspring's adjustment difficulties were mediated in part by mother's mental health--chiefly anxiety. CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that child sexual abuse has long-term repercussions for adult mental health, parenting relationships, and child adjustment in the succeeding generation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper reports a study which forms part of the ALSPAC study. The ALSPAC study is part of the WHO initiated European Study of Pregnancy and Childhood and is supported by the Wellcome Trust, The Department of Health, The Department of the Environment and the Medical Research Council.
Uncontrolled Keywords: child sexual abuse, parenting, offspring, adjustment, posttraumatic-stress-disorder, physical abuse, longitudinal community, general-population, suicidal-behavior, coping strategies, national survey, women, impact, survivors
Research Area: Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Social Science (until November 2012)
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Depositing User: Cheryl Clark
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2010 10:38

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