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What Determines Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse?

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 21 Issue: 6 Dated: June 1997 Pages: 575-582
L Briggs; P R Joyce
Date Published
8 pages
This article attempts to determine which childhood abuse experiences are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Seventy-three women attending a Family Health Counseling Service's Sexual Abuse Program were invited to participate in a study of the effectiveness of sexual abuse counseling. Initially, the women completed a series of self-report questionnaires including a measure of PTSD symptoms, and were interviewed about childhood abuse experiences. PTSD symptoms were associated with higher levels of all psychopathology. However, the severity of PTSD symptoms was also associated with the extent of childhood sexual abuse which involved actual sexual intercourse. This association of repeated abuse involving sexual intercourse with PTSD symptoms was still significant even when controlling for general level of psychopathology. Tables, references