Maternal factors associated with sexually abused children's psychosocial adjustment

Esther Deblinger, Robert Steer, Julie Lippmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The potential influence of maternal adjustment and parenting style on children's psychological adjustment following sexual abuse was examined. A battery of standardized parent and child self-report instruments were administered to 100 sexually abused children and their nonoffending mothers. The results of a series of multiple regression analyses indicated that the maternal self-reported depression significantly contributed to the expression of both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and parent-reported internalizing behavior problems in sexually abused children. In addition, children's perceptions of their mothers' parenting style as rejecting rather than accepting contributed to the children's self-reported levels of depression. Children's perceptions of maternal use of guilt and anxiety-provoking parenting methods contributed to increased levels of PTSD symptoms and parent-reported externalizing behavior problems. These findings are discussed in terms of their research and treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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