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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Apr;200(4):329-35. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31824cc078.

The interactive effect of blame attribution with characteristics of child sexual abuse on posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain.


The present study examined the role of attributions of blame for child sexual abuse (CSA) in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The interactive effects of attribution of blame with characteristics of abuse on PTSD were studied. A sample of 151 female victims of CSA participated in the study. Self-blame and family blame were related to higher PTSD scores, whereas perpetrator blame was not related to PTSD. The strength of the relationship between blame and PTSD score was higher in cases of more severe, isolated, and extrafamilial abuse. The findings suggest that diminishing self-blame attributions may be particularly advantageous in cases of isolated and extrafamilial CSA, whereas diminishing family blame would be more advantageous in cases of severe abuse.

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