Psychological distress among women who were sexually abused as children
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Social Welfare, ISSN 1369-6866, E-ISSN 1468-2397, Vol. 22, no 3, 269-278 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
One of the aims of the study was to investigate how participants in self-help groups (SHG) for women (n = 87) who had been sexually abused in childhood rated their mental health and to what extent they were at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A further aim was to investigate the relationship between the ratings of mental health, occurrence of PTSD, women's interpersonal relationships, reasons for participating in an SHG and characteristics of the childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The participants completed questionnaires regarding their personal relationships, reasons for joining a group, abuse characteristics, mental health (Symptom Checklist-90-Revised) and PTSD (Impact of Event Scale-Revised). The women showed poor mental health, and more than half of them were at risk of developing PTSD. Lack of social support and feelings of shame correlated with poor mental health, whereas guilt did not. Relationships with female friends had a positive association. Further research is needed to determine whether participating in an SHG could provide adequate social support and reduce feelings of shame, thereby contributing to the healing process in the aftermath of CSA.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, no 3, 269-278 p.
childhood sexual abuse; mental health; PTSD; shame; self-help group; public health
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3658OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-3658DiVA: diva2:785236