The sequelae of child sexual abuse in disadvantaged, ethnic minority adolescents in intensive psychiatric treatment

Patricia Ann Sullivan, Fordham University

Abstract

Several psychiatric symptoms were significantly associated with sexual abuse in an ethnic minority sample of 129 economically disadvantaged adolescent psychiatric inpatients and day-patients. Although teenagers with a history of sexual abuse varied in their level of symptomology, sexual abuse was significantly associated with hypervigilance surrounding perceived sexually threats and internalizing behavior. By contrast, externalizing disorders and self-reported reexperiencing phenomena, depression, generalized anxiety, and dissociative symptoms among sexually abused adolescent patients were similar to those among the physically and non-abused groups. Unlike sexual abuse, the level and clinical significance of symptoms were not significantly different when physically abused and non-abused adolescents were compared. These findings suggest that for some disadvantaged teenagers in inpatient and residential treatment whose lives are characterized by multiple traumas, sexual abuse may have a devastating impact on the development and persistence of psychiatric disorders. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Patricia Ann Sullivan, "The sequelae of child sexual abuse in disadvantaged, ethnic minority adolescents in intensive psychiatric treatment" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3022800.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3022800

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