Posttraumatic stress disorder in adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse: a comparison study

N Rodriguez, S W Ryan, H Vande Kemp, D W Foy
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1997, 65 (1): 53-9
This study compared symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of 45 adult women in outpatient treatment for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and a group of 31 women who reported no CSA. The comparison group consisted of women in outpatient treatment for problems in their committed relationships with male living partners. This research also investigated the traumatic impact of dual abuse (both childhood sexual and physical abuse). Standardized assessment instruments were used to measure PTSD, CSA, and childhood physical abuse (CPA). Results indicated that 86.7% of the CSA group met criteria for current PTSD in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed., revised; American Psychiatric Association, 1987), compared with 19.4% of the relationship distress group, providing support for CSA as an etiological agent for PTSD. In addition, 89% of the CSA survivors reported CPA. Multivariate analysis revealed that both CSA and CPA exposure variables accounted for a significant portion of the variance in PTSD symptoms in the CSA group.

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