• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book critically reviews research into child sexual abuse (CSA), and provides a concise and clear guide to current knowledge. The topics covered include: the prevalence of CSA; who molests children; the effects of such abuse, both immediate and long term; the risk factors for abuse; and the influences and interventions that may amplify or ameliorate the impact of CSA on the victim. Areas of debate, such as the false memory syndrome, are approached in terms of the research data relevant to their resolution.

The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Children
The effects of childhood sexual abuse on children

A key issue in this field concerns the extent to which CSA leads to subsequent psychological damage and adjustment difficulties during childhood. There is little doubt that children exposed to CSA find this experience bewildering, upsetting, or distressing (Beitchman, Zucker, Hood, da Costa, & Akman, 1991; Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993). In this chapter, we review the evidence on the impact of CSA on child adjustment. Three central questions underlie this analysis. First, to what extent does exposure to CSA lead to the onset of problem behaviors and difficulties in children? Second, what factors influence the resilience of children exposed to CSA? Third, to what extent does treatment of CSA ...

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