The effects of child sexual abuse in later family life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring

R Roberts, T O'Connor, J Dunn, J Golding, Team The ALSPAC Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

216 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To investigate links between child sexual abuse (occurring before 13 years), later mental health, family organization, parenting behaviors, and adjustment in offspring. Method: The present study investigates a subsample of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children an ongoing study of women and their families in the area of Avon, England. A sample of 8292 families met inclusion criteria for identifiable family type and completed self-report data on prior sexual assault. Further data were collected on life course variables, socioeconomic variables, psychological well-being, relationship quality, parent-child relationship quality, and children’s adjustment. Results: After adjustment for other childhood adversity, prior child sexual abuse was associated with a range of outcomes in adulthood, including current membership of a nontraditional family type (single mother and stepfather) poorer psychological well-being, teenage pregnancy, parenting behaviors, and adjustment problems in the victim’s later offspring. The relationship of child sexual abuse with aspects of the parent-child relationship in later life and with the offspring’s adjustment difficulties were mediated in part by mother’s mental health—chiefly anxiety. Conclusion: Findings indicate that child sexual abuse has long-term repercussions for adult mental health, parenting relationships, and child adjustment in the succeeding generation.
Translated title of the contributionThe effects of child sexual abuse in later family life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525 - 545
Number of pages21
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume28 (5)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of child sexual abuse in later family life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this