Abuse disclosures of youth with problem sexualized behaviors and trauma symptomology


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Background: The majority of youth with problem sexualized behaviors (PSB) have substantiated experiences of abuse or exposures to violence (Silovsky & Niec, 2002). Little is known about specific abuse experiences that may differentiate youth with PSB from those without. Few studies have examined the types of abuse associated with post-traumatic stress symptomology. Objective: The current study explored two research questions: (1) Do children with PSB differ from children without PSB in terms of their abuse disclosures?; and (2) Are the types of abuse disclosed associated with the child’s scores on a post-traumatic stress measure?. Participants & setting: Data were analyzed for youth (N = 950) ages 3-18 years who completed a clinical assessment at a child advocacy center in the Midwest during the 2015 calendar year. Methods: Youth completed assessments that included a forensic interview and either the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) for children ages 3-10 years, or the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) for children ages 11-16 years. Bivariate logistic regression was used to answer the research questions. Results: Findings indicated that youths who disclosed offender to victim fondling were less likely to disclose PSB (OR = 0.460, p = .026), and children exposed to pornography were more likely to disclose PSB (OR = 3.252, p = .001). Additionally, youth who disclosed physical abuse (OR = 1.678, p = .001) or victim to offender sexual contact (OR = 2.242, p = .003) had higher odds of clinically significant trauma scores. Conclusions: Implications for practitioners and future research directions are discussed.

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