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Psychol Bull. 1998 Jul;124(1):22-53.

A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse using college samples.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA. rind@vm.temple.edu

Abstract

Many lay persons and professionals believe that child sexual abuse (CSA) causes intense harm, regardless of gender, pervasively in the general population. The authors examined this belief by reviewing 59 studies based on college samples. Meta-analyses revealed that students with CSA were, on average, slightly less well adjusted than controls. However, this poorer adjustment could not be attributed to CSA because family environment (FE) was consistently confounded with CSA, FE explained considerably more adjustment variance than CSA, and CSA-adjustment relations generally became nonsignificant when studies controlled for FE. Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA indicated that negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not supported.

PMID:
9670820
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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