Sexually Abused Children at High Risk for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

SUSAN V. McLEER, ESTHER DEBLINGER, DELMINA HENRY, HELEN ORVASCHEL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ninety-two 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, 43.9% met DSM-III-R PTSD criteria; 53.8% of children abused by fathers, 42.4% abused by trusted adults, and 10% of those abused by strangers met criteria as opposed to none of the children abused by an older child. No relationship was observed between the time lapsed since last abusive episode and the presence of PTSD. Many children not meeting full criteria exhibited partial PTSD symptoms. Only one standardized instrument (Child Behavior Checklist) detected group differences with PTSD children exhibiting more symptoms. This study replicates an earlier pilot study and underscores the need for further PTSD research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-879
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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