The trauma symptoms of child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors don't end with the abuse, or even with the advent of adulthood. Instead, these symptoms can persist into all the realms of a survivor's life, including education, which sets the foundation for career advancement. This retrospective study of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (n=260) examined the relationships between trauma symptoms, dissociation, dissociative amnesia, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and higher education attainment. The purpose of this study was to determine if these factors are associated with higher education completion for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors. Linear regressions and ANOVAs suggest that many of these variables are significantly associated with survivors' educational trajectory, and multiple linear regressions show that trauma symptoms (as measured by the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40), caregivers' education levels, and age at onset of abuse are significant predictors of decreased education levels. This information can provide insight into additional risk and protective factors for CSA survivors in order to enhance acute and long-term management of trauma symptoms to increase levels ofattainment of higher education.
Keywords: Child sexual abuse; College; Dissociation; Higher education; Trauma; Trauma symptoms.
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