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Grooming Hurts Too: The Effects of Types of Perpetrator Grooming on Trauma Symptoms in Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Molly R Wolf, Doyle K Pruitt
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 2019 March 11, : 1-15
There are a multitude of behaviors that child sexual abusers use to 'groom' children into becoming vulnerable to abuse. In this study of 277 adult survivors of child sexual abuse, participants advised the many ways they were groomed into being abused by up to three perpetrators. The effects of three categories of grooming (Verbal Coercion, Grooming that used Drugs/Alcohol, and Threatening/Violent Grooming) were examined for their effects on trauma symptom severity. Using Linear Regressions, each grooming category had a significant predictive effect on trauma symptom severity. Multiple Linear Regressions revealed that for most trauma symptoms, Threatening/Violent Grooming was a significant predictor of trauma symptom severity, even when other more well-known variables were controlled for (including age at onset of abuse, relationship to perpetrator, and severity of abuse), with a notable exception of verbal coercion as a significant predictor of sexual problems in adulthood (i.e. not satisfied, low drive, overactivity, confusion, bad thoughts or feelings).


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