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J Prev Interv Community. 2012;40(4):291-303. doi: 10.1080/10852352.2012.707446.

Understanding adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and their relationship to adult stress among male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

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  • 1Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467, USA.


Men who were sexually abused during childhood represent a highly stigmatized, marginalized, and under-researched population at risk for a variety of problems across the lifespan. The purpose of the current study was to (a) describe characteristics of child sexual abuse (CSA) and adverse child experiences (ACE), and (b) examine the relationships among CSA characteristics, ACE, and stressors in adulthood. Using a cross-sectional design, the researcher collected data on 487 adult men through an anonymous, online survey. Bivariate analyses revealed that five CSA characteristics--age at first abuse (r = -.164), number of abusers (r = .231), use of physical force, penetration, and physical injury--were related to the number of ACE. Three CSA characteristics (use of physical force, penetration, and physical injury) and the number of ACE (r = .162) were positively related to the number of stressors in adulthood. Preliminary recommendations for prevention, intervention, and future research are provided.

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