Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Sexually Abused Children

SUSAN V. McLEER, ESTHER DEBLINGER, MARC S. ATKINS, EDNA B. FOA, DIANA L. RALPHE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thirty-one sexually abused children were studied using structured interviews and standardized instruments to determine the frequency of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated symptoms. Of these sexually abused children, 48.4% met DSM-III-R PTSD criteria; 75% of children abused by natural fathers, 67% abused by strangers, and 25% of those abused by trusted adults met criteria as opposed to none of the children abused by an older child. Many children not meeting full DSM-III-R criteria exhibited partial PTSD symptoms. No relationship was observed between the time lapsed since last abusive episode and the development of PTSD. Three standardized instruments (CDI, SEI, and STAIC), although useful in identifying non-PTSD related symptoms, were not useful in differentiating PTSD. The CBCL detected group differences, with PTSD children exhibiting significantly more symptoms of externalizing and internalizing behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-654
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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