Posttraumatic growth among female survivors of childhood sexual abuse in relation to the perpetrator identity

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Marianne Amir, Avi Besser

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47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the extent of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology and posttraumatic growth in young adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse in relation to the identity of the perpetrator. Two hundred and forty-six non-clinical female university students were administered self-report questionnaires with regard to negative life events, PTSD symptoms, and posttraumatic growth. A sample of 93 participants who reported having been sexually abused during childhood either by a family member or a stranger were drawn for the study purpose. Comparison between the survivors in relation to the identity of the perpetrator, family member versus a stranger, revealed that the levels of PTSD and posttraumatic growth were both higher among survivors who were sexually abused by a family member compared to those who were sexually abused by a stranger. Mediational analysis revealed that levels of PTSD mediated the identity of the perpetrator effect on posttraumatic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005

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