Irish child sexual abuse victims attending a specialist centre

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Title: Irish child sexual abuse victims attending a specialist centre
Authors: O'Riordan, Beth
Carr, Alan
Turner, Rhonda
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Date: May-2003
Abstract: We profiled a cohort of CSA cases referred for assessment to a specialist child sexual abuse (CSA) centre in a national paediatric hospital in Ireland. Historical and clinical data were drawn from records of 171 cases. The majority of cases were referred by social workers following purposeful disclosure of CSA. Three quarters of the cases were female with a mean age of 9 years. They were from a wide spectrum of socioeconomic groups and many had suffered a range of family adversities. In most cases, the abuse involved masturbation of the child by the abuser. Almost all of the perpetrators were male with a mean age of 28 years and in 60% of cases extrafamilial abuse had occurred. In 23% of cases, the perpetrator had a history of previous sexual offending. Anxiety was the most common emotional problem before disclosure and after disclosure the most common emotional problem was guilt. Before disclosure school refusal was the most common behavioural problem and after disclosure fighting was the most prevalent behavioural difficulty. The most common factors supporting the credibility of CSA allegations were labile mood, the child's ability to differentiate fact from fantasy and a detailed disclosure of contextual details. More adolescents showed deterioration in schoolwork after disclosure and for more pre school children clinginess following disclosure was a significant emotional problem. More primary school aged children were abused by perpetrators who had abused a number of children. For children abused by such perpetrators, vaginal intercourse was less common. Vaginal intercourse was more common in 6–11-year-old victims and those who were abused on a daily basis. The threat that disclosure posed to the integrity of the family structure was more often a factor hindering disclosure in victims abused by father figures and abused very frequently.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright (published version): 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: CSA victims’ psychosocial characteristics
DOI: 10.1002/car.788
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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