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Child Abuse Negl. 2011 Mar;35(3):173-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.09.005. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

Psychosocial factors influencing competency of children's statements on sexual trauma.

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Sunflower Children's Center, Seoul, South Korea.



The objectives of this study are to assess children's competence to state their traumatic experience and to determine psychosocial factors influencing the competency of children's statements, such as emotional factors of children and parents and trauma-related variables, in Korean child sex abuse victims.


We enrolled 214 children, who visited "Sunflower Children's Center" for sexual abuse. The children were aged 8-13 years. The children's parent were surveyed using questionnaires [Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory(STAI)] to obtain demographic information, traumatic event profiles and self-report scale. Children completed psychological measures as follows: Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS), Traumatic Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC). The modified-Criteria-Based Content Analysis (CBCA) was used to assess children's statements. ANOVA, independent t-test, Pearson correlation were used. All statistics were demonstrated using SPSS 12.0.


Modified-CBCA scores did not differ according to children's level of depression and anxiety. Children with parents who showed supportive reactions, scored significantly higher on the modified-CBCA scores than those with unsupportive parents. Children with severely depressed parents had lower modified-CBCA scores than those with less depressed parents. Modified-CBCA scores were significantly higher in participants who experienced a single traumatic event than those who had multiple events. However, the severity of sexual abuse, relationship with the perpetrator, types of disclosure, and duration of initial disclosure did not show significant differences in capability of statement.


In conclusion, the competence of statements in Korean sexually child sex abuse victims is related to parental emotional states and support rather than children's factors such as psychopathology or age, and appears to be more reliable with a single traumatic experience. Therefore, promoting parental support through psychoeducation is one of the most important things to be done to help children overcome psychologic trauma but also enhance the accuracy of their statement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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