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J Child Sex Abus. 2004;13(2):85-103.

Sexual trauma, spirituality, and psychopathology.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Concordia College, 901 8th. St. South, Moorhead, MN 54542, USA.


This study assessed the association between spirituality and psychopathology in a group of sexual abuse victims and controls with a focus on whether spirituality moderated the association between sexual trauma and psychopathology. Seventy-one sexual trauma victims were compared to 25 control subjects on spiritual well-being, the Eating Disorder Examination, the PTSD Symptom Scale, and the SCID-I/P. The data showed that the two groups did not differ in terms of spiritual well-being. Sexual trauma status was associated with most of the psychopathology outcomes, but its impact on psychopathology was largely unmoderated by spirituality. Among sexual trauma victims, the level of spiritual well-being did not alter the probability of current psychopathology. However, increased spiritual well-being was generally associated with lower psychopathology for the entire sample.

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