Intrafamilial Child Molestation, Theories of

Intrafamilial child molestation refers to child sexual abuse involving contact between a child and another family member, often within the same household, and includes molestation by stepparents, common law parents, live-in parent figures, and other blood relatives not in the same household. Several models and theories have been offered to explain the dynamics involved in intrafamilial child sexual abuse. Several of these are discussed in this entry, after discussing victims’ disclosure of the molestation and offender profiles. The entry concludes by discussing the association between intrafamilial child molestation and victims’ adult functioning.

Disclosure of Molestation

Surveys demonstrate that only one third of child molestation survivors disclose their abuse during childhood, and 60% delay disclosing for 5 years or more after the first child molestation episode. Many ...

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