Sexual abuse in young children: its clinical presentation and characteristic patterns.


Journal Article

A retrospective record survey was performed using all child clients aged less than 7 years seen at a community mental health center during the period 1982-1984. The total number of 202 children fell into three groups: sexually abused (n = 37), physically abused (n = 35), and nonabused clinical children (n = 130). These groups were compared in order to learn more about sexual abuse in young children. Family background of both abused groups were similar to each other but differed from the nonabused group in having more factors related to family stress than the nonabused group. Clinical presentations of all the children overlapped a great deal symptomatically; however, the sexually abused children had a statistically significant higher frequency of inappropriate sexual behavior than the other two groups. Several characteristics of the abusive patterns suffered by the two abuse groups differed at or near statistical significance: sexually abused children were more often victimized in single acts by nonrelated child perpetrators than were physically abused children.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gale, J; Thompson, RJ; Moran, T; Sack, WH

Published Date

  • January 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 163 - 170

PubMed ID

  • 3395892

Pubmed Central ID

  • 3395892

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7757

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0145-2134

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0145-2134(88)90024-5


  • eng