Predisposing Factors and Impact of Child Victimization: A Qualitative Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Sep 5;18(17):9373. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18179373.


Sexual abuse of children is increasing at an alarming rate. This study aims to describe the risk factors and the effects of sexual abuse on children. This unobtrusive qualitative study was conducted on children aged 10 to 18 years old who experienced sexual abuse and followed-up at a psychiatric clinic between the years 2019 and 2021. The information from case records was transcribed. Thematic analysis was performed. Thirty case records were reviewed. The mean age of the victims was 14.6 years; 94% of the victims had experienced vaginal penetration, and 23% of the cases involved incest. The results indicated that socio-psychological predisposing factors involving family structure and dynamic dysfunction, low intrapersonal strength, social influence, and low family socioeconomic status could lead to sexual victimization. This sexual victimization can then lead to emotional turmoil, negative effects on cognitive, academic and social function, negative parental reactions toward the incident, the creation of baby-mother relationships and love-hate relationships, and a lack of goals and hope for the future. Children who experienced sexual abuse may show rape or pregnancy symptoms but may also show entirely non-specific ones. A thorough examination of their history, including biopsychosocial aspects, is necessary to appropriately care for them.

Keywords: adolescents; incest; sex abuse; sex offense.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual*
  • Crime Victims*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incest
  • Pregnancy
  • Rape*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses*