Exploring the Link Between Child Sexual Abuse and Sexually Intrusive Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Caregiver Discipline Strategy
- 466 Downloads
Although it has been well documented that children who experience child sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing sexually intrusive behaviors (SIB), there is considerable heterogeneity in symptom presentation. With the aim of elucidating potential moderating factors that both exacerbate and attenuate outcomes following CSA, the current study investigated caregiver discipline strategy as one potential factor that may moderate the relationship between CSA and SIB. Participants included 986 eight-year-old children (51.4 % female) drawn from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect consortium. Child maltreatment histories were collected every 2 years starting at age 4, and caregiver discipline strategies and SIB were assessed at age 8. Results confirm the lack of a simple pathway between CSA and SIB and indicate that caregiver discipline strategy may represent a unique moderator for both exacerbating and attenuating risk for SIB following CSA. Specifically, for girls with a history of CSA, caregiver use of adaptive discipline resulted in lower levels of SIB, whereas caregiver use of physical discipline resulted in higher levels of SIB. The present study contributes to the ongoing discourse regarding the treatment of children who have experienced CSA and etiological pathways associated with the development of SIB.
KeywordsChild sexual abuse Child sexual behavior problems Parenting Discipline Child maltreatment
We are grateful to the staff of the National Data Archives on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) and the NDACAN Summer Research Institute for their assistance.
The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Barnett, D., Manly, J. T., & Cicchetti, D. (1993). Defining child maltreatment: The interface between policy and research. In D. Cicchetti & S. L. Toth (Eds.), Advances in applied developmental psychology: child abuse, child development and social policy (pp. 7–73). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp.Google Scholar
- Bonner, B. L., Walker, C. E., & Berliner, L. (1999). Children with sexual behavior problems: Assessment and treatment (Final Report, Grant No. 90-CA-1469). Washington, DC: Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.calib.com/nccanch/pubs/otherpubs/childassessment/index.cfm.
- Bukowski, W. M. (1992). Sexual abuse and maladjustment considered from the perspective of normal developmental processes. In W. O’Donohue, J. H. Geer, W. O’Donohue, & J. H. Geer (Eds.), The sexual abuse of children, theory and research; Vol. 2: Clinical issues (Vol. 1, pp. 261–282). Hillsdale, NJ, England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.Google Scholar
- Chamberlain, P., & Patterson, G. R. (1995). Discipline and child compliance in parenting. In M. H. Bornstein & M. H. Bornstein (Eds.), Handbook of parenting, applied and practical parenting (Vol. 4, pp. 205–225). Hillsdale, NJ England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Cummings, E. M., Keller, P. S., & Davies, P. T. (2005). Towards a family process model of maternal and paternal depression: Exploring multiple relations with child and family functioning. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 479–489. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00368.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- English, D. J. & the LONGSCAN Investigators (1997). Modified Maltreatment Classification System (MMCS). For more information visit the LONGSCAN website at: http://www.iprc.unc.edu/longscan/.
- Everson, M. D., Hunter, W. M., Runyon, D. K., Edelsohn, G. A., & Coulter, M. L. (1991). Maternal support following disclosure of incest. In S. Chess, M. E. Hertzig, S. Chess, & M. E. Hertzig (Eds.), Annual progress in child psychiatry and child development, 1990 (pp. 292–306). Philadelphia, PA US: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
- Friedrich, W. N. (1997). Child sexual behavior inventory: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Friedrich, W., Davies, W., Feher, E., & Wright, J. (2003). Sexual behavior problems in preteen children: developmental, ecological, and behavioral correlates. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 98995–99104. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb07296.x.
- Hunter, W. M., Cox, C.E., Teagle, S., Johnson, R. M., Mathew, R., Knight, E. D., Leeb, R. T., & Smith, J. B. (2003). Measures for assessment of functioning and outcomes in longitudinal research on child abuse. Volume 2: Middle Childhood. Accessible at: http://www.iprc.unc.edu/longscan/.
- Kim, I. J., Ge, X., Brody, G. H., Conger, R. D., Gibbons, F. X., & Simons, R. L. (2003). Parenting behaviors and the occurrence and co-occurrence of depressive symptoms and conduct problems among African American children. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 571–583. doi: 10.1037/0893-318.104.22.1681.Google Scholar
- Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
- Pinderhughes, E. E., Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. E., Pettit, G. S., & Zelli, A. (2000). Discipline responses: Influences of parents socioeconomic status, ethnicity, beliefs about parenting, stress, and cognitive-emotional processes. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 380–400. doi: 10.1037/0893-322.214.171.1240.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Runyan, D. K., Curtis, P. A., Hunter, W. M., Black, M. M., Kotch, J. B., Bangdiwala, S., et al. (1998). LONGSCAN: A consortium for longitudinal studies of maltreatment and the life course of children. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 3, 275–285. doi: 10.1016/S1359-1789(96)00027-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vissing, Y. M., Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., & Harrop, J. W. (1991). Verbal aggression by parents and psychosocial problems of children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 15(3), 223–238.Google Scholar
- Weisz, J. R., & Weersing, V. R. (1999). Developmental outcome research. In W. K. Silverman & T. H. Ollendick (Eds.), Developmental issues in the clinical treatment of children and adolescents (pp. 457– 469). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar