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Self-Destructive and Delinquent Behaviors of Adolescent Female Victims of Child Sexual Abuse: Rates and Covariates in Clinical and Nonclinical Samples

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Self-destructive and delinquent behaviors were assessed in three samples of adolescent females. The first sample (N = 140) were substantiated victims of sexual abuse recruited from clinical settings. They were contrasted to a second sample (N = 430) of secondary school students, and a third sample from the same school setting (N = 94), that reported that they had been sexually abused. Few differences were found between the two groups of sexually abused girls, and both groups reported significantly more at-risk behaviors than nonabused girls. Family adversity was a consistent predictor of both self-destructive and delinquent behaviors. However, violence during the abuse, lower quality mother-daughter relationships, and depression were also related to self-destructive behaviors, while family economic problems and self-blame for the abuse were the only correlates of delinquent behavior.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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