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J Trauma Dissociation. 2013;14(4):455-72. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2013.769478.

Dissociative symptoms over a year in a sample of sexually abused children.

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Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Québec, Canada.


This study aims to document the evolution of dissociative symptoms over time in preschoolers who disclose sexual abuse. Specifically, this study explores the frequency of dissociative symptoms as a function of child gender. A follow-up evaluation was conducted 1 year after initial disclosure among a sample of 48 sexually abused children, and their results were contrasted with those of a control group composed of 71 non abused children. Children's dissociative symptoms were evaluated by non-offending parents. Data showed that children reporting sexual abuse displayed a greater frequency of dissociative symptoms than non-sexually abused children at both evaluation times. Further analysis indicated that the evolution of dissociative symptoms in sexually abused children may be gender related. Although a decline in dissociation symptoms over time was evident for sexually abused girls at follow-up, sexually abused boys displayed greater dissociative symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for interventions for sexually abused children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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