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Child Abuse Negl. 1994 Oct;18(10):837-47.

The impact of child sexual abuse--a study of a random sample of Norwegian students.

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Department of Psychology, University of Trondheim, Norway.


The long-term impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) has most typically been concentrated on the psychological outcomes. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between CSA and self-reported complaints including both psychological and psychosomatic problems as well as absenteeism. A random sample of 510 female and 486 male students completed a questionnaire that included questions about CSA. The overall response rate was 75.3%. A symptom scale was constructed by asking the respondents to rate themselves on a three-category scale for 13 items concerning both psychological and somatic health problems. They were also asked to indicate how many days the problem had caused them to be absent from class or work during the year prior to the study. CSA was reported by 116 of the students (11.7%). CSA was associated with a broad range of health problems; including genital pain/infections and headache/abdominal/muscular pain as well as psychological disorders such as anxiety and suicidal ideations. A linear relationship was demonstrated between the severity of CSA and the symptom score, as well as between the severity of CSA and days absent from work. Postpubertal onset of abuse and close relationship with the offender were positively associated with the number of sick-leave days.

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