Presenting problems of sexually abused girls receiving psychiatric services.
Twenty-three behaviors among those suggested in the literature to be associated with sexual abuse were studied in 195 girls, ages 2-18 years, who were consecutive admissions to three Midwestern mental health agencies. Results indicated that sexually inappropriate behaviors, sleep disturbance, depressed mood, and delinquent behavior occurred more frequently in young abuse victims than in clinic comparisons. Sexually inappropriate behaviors and running away appeared more often in older sexually abused girls, than they appeared in older clinic comparisons. These comparisons of the presenting problems of sexually abused and nonabused girls suggested there are few behavioral "markers" of sexual abuse in clinical samples and that sexual abuse may not be a unique contributing factor in the ontogeny of childhood psychopathology.
Goldston, DB; Turnquist, DC; Knutson, JF
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