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Child Abuse Negl. 1992;16(3):399-407.

A retrospective study of long-term methods of coping with having been sexually abused during childhood.

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Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405.


Methods of coping with childhood sexual abuse were retrospectively studied in a community sample of 54 adult women who had been sexually abused in childhood. From the time the abuse ended until the present, "denial" and "emotional suppression" were the coping methods most commonly employed of the nine methods measured. One purpose of this study was to determine if the methods used to cope with the aftermath of being sexually abused during childhood were associated with current psychological adjustment beyond what could be predicted by the characteristics of the abusive experience per se. A partial correlation analysis and a multiple regression analysis suggested that avoidant/emotion suppressing coping strategies although frequently used and rated by subjects as helpful, were in fact associated with poorer adult psychological adjustment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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