Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adolescents Adjudicated for Sexual Offenses: Mental Health Consequences and Sexual Offending Behaviors

Hugo B. Morais, Apryl A. Alexander, Rebecca Fix, Barry R. Burkhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Most studies on the mental health consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) focus predominantly on CSA survivors who do not commit sexual offenses. The current study examined the effects of CSA on 498 male adolescents adjudicated for sexual offenses who represent the small portion of CSA survivors who engage in sexual offenses. The prevalence of internalizing symptoms, parental attachment difficulties, specific sexual offending behaviors, and risk for sexually offending were compared among participants with and without a history of CSA. Results indicated that participants with a history of CSA were more likely to be diagnosed with major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder than those who did not report a history of CSA. A history of CSA was also positively correlated with risk for sexually offending and with specific offense patterns and consensual sexual behaviors. No significant differences emerged on parental attachment difficulties. These results highlight that adolescents adjudicated for sexual offenses with a history of CSA present with differences in sexual and psychological functioning as well as markedly different offending patterns when compared with those without a CSA history. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Sex Offenses
Sexual Behavior
Mental Health
Survivors
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
History
Depression
Psychology

Keywords

  • adolescent sexual abusers
  • child sexual abuse
  • delinquency
  • juvenile sex offender
  • sexual abuse
  • victim age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adolescents Adjudicated for Sexual Offenses : Mental Health Consequences and Sexual Offending Behaviors. / Morais, Hugo B.; Alexander, Apryl A.; Fix, Rebecca; Burkhart, Barry R.

In: Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 30, No. 1, 01.02.2018, p. 23-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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