Risk factors and protective factors in relation to subjective health among adult female victims of child sexual abuse

Child Abuse Negl. 2006 Feb;30(2):127-43. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.08.014.


Objective: To investigate the relationships between risk and protective factors and health outcome in a sample of adult females who had been victims of child sexual abuse.

Method: Both person- and variable-oriented analyses were applied to questionnaire data from a non-clinical group of women (n = 152) reporting sexual abuse during childhood.

Results: Six groups with different patterns of risk and protective factors were found by cluster analysis. Two groups (Good Coping and Support Compensation) had significantly better health than expected in spite of severe abuse. Self-esteem and social support were strong predictors of health in the regression models.

Conclusion: The relationships between risk and protective factors and health may be different in different groups of victims of child sexual abuse. Self-esteem was closely related to health outcome displaying the importance of this concept in clinical practice. Availability of resources seems to be more important for health outcomes than the amount of risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires