Symptomatology associated with childhood sexual victimization in a nonclinical adult sample

Child Abuse Negl. 1988;12(1):51-9. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(88)90007-5.


The current study examined the incidence and long-term effects of sexual abuse in a nonclinical sample of adult women. Approximately 15% of 278 university women reported having had sexual contact with a significantly older person before age 15. On a modified version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist, these women reported higher levels of dissociation, somatization, anxiety, and depression than did nonabused women. Abuse-related symptomatology was positively associated with the age of the abuser, the total number of abusers, use of force during victimization, parental incest, completed intercourse, and extended duration of time.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / etiology
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coitus
  • Dissociative Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Somatoform Disorders / etiology