Profile Analysis of Child Sexual Abuse Experiences in Korea: An Exploratory Study

  • Kihyun KimEmail author
  • Jae-Won Kim
  • Bee Ryou
  • Jungtae Choi
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Numerous children across the world experience sexual abuse. However, cross-cultural similarities or differences in the experience of child sexual abuse remain largely unknown. Based on Trickett and colleagues’ conceptualization of child sexual abuse, this study examined the detailed characteristics of child sexual abuse in Korea, and explored their profiles or subgroups using case records data from national intervention centers serving sexually abused children and their families. Out of 36 centers nationwide, 11 agencies participated in the study. The participating agencies randomly selected 381 child sexual abuse cases, and trained staff extracted information of child sexual abuse and service utilization using the template developed for the study. Three different profiles were identified based on abuse characteristics: familial sexual abuse (16.7%); non-familial sexual abuse (46.3%), and non-penetrative contact (37.0%). Patterns of service utilization differed depending on the profile. The familial sexual abuse group received more services than the non-penetrative contact group. However, the differences between the non-familial sexual abuse and familial sexual abuse groups were negligible. Based on the results, this study calls for accurate assessments of mental health needs among this population and improvements in service delivery system for the intervention centers supporting sexually abused children and adolescents in Korea.


Child abuse in South Korea Child maltreatment international Experiences of child sexual abuse Profile of child maltreatment Service utilization among abuse victims Intervention for child sexual abuse 



This study was supported by a grant of the Korean Mental Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HM15C1107).


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kihyun Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jae-Won Kim
    • 2
  • Bee Ryou
    • 1
  • Jungtae Choi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social WelfareSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Seoul National University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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