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Psychology: Childhood sexual abuse - Research Paper Example

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The American Medical Association defines CSA as “the engagement of a child in sexual activities to which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give consent”…
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Psychology: Childhood sexual abuse
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Psychology: Childhood sexual abuse

Dindwiddie et al (2000) also suggest that 15- 20 % of women may have experienced some form of CSA. However these figures may not be the whole picture as many children do not report sexual abuse as they are too afraid to or are threatened by the abuser to keep quiet. The list of short-term and long-term effects of this abuse includes psychological, social, behavioral and health-related effects. According to Dinwiddie et al (2000) this list includes depressed feelings, and feelings of anxiety, guilt and anger. In addition there is an elevated rate of mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder. Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness are common. Two of the major consequences are the difficulty to develop trust in anyone and inability to make sound decisions about sexual behavior. Generally the family environment in which children who are sexually abused grow up is an adverse one. Therefore there is co-occurring emotional or physical abuse or neglect along with the sexual abuse. The environmental factors associated with increased risk of CSA are listed by Dinwiddie et al (2002) as significant family conflict or violence, extended institutional placement, and presence of a step father. Martsolf and Draucker (2008) include several additional family problems that occur in such homes such as parents having alcohol and/or substance abuse problems, mental illness, economic instability, domestic violence and high levels of conflict in the homes.
The research is not completely definite about the extent of the effect of family dysfunction on the outcomes of childhood sexual abuse, but it is clear that the sexual abuse is associated with many negative effects.
The study of the increased risk for serious negative outcomes for individuals with a history of CSA has been complicated by at least two methodological issues, according to Nelson et al (2002). These two issues are the selection of ... Read More
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