Family relations, family climate and sexual abuse
2002 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, Vol. 56, no 5, 355-362 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In Europe, 10-20% of all women and 3-10% of all men have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18, according to surveys. Psychosocial problems are often seen as both short- and long-term consequences of such abuse. Family dysfunction may be seen as both a risk factor for abuse and a result of the disclosure of abuse. The aim of this research was to study how adolescents and adults, sexually abused during their childhood, experienced their family life and family climate in their family of origin. A clinical sample of 18 adolescent girls and 20 adult women comprised the study group. The methods used were a semi-structured interview and the questionnaire Family Climate Test. The majority of the participants kept quiet about the abuse during their childhood. The abuse took place for an average of 2.5 years among the adolescents and 6 years in the adult group. Secrecy, isolation and family problems were typical attributes in the interviews. The majority of both adolescents and women described their relationships in the family of origin as deviant or interrupted, with a reversed (negative) pattern on the Family Climate Test. This meant a low level of closeness and a high level of distance in the families combined with a low level of spontaneity and a high level of chaos. The study, even if relatively small and based on clinical cases, gives support to earlier research, which shows that sexual abuse in general, but especially intra-familial sexual abuse, is associated with family dysfunction.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 56, no 5, 355-362 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26577DOI: 10.1080/080394802760322123Local ID: 11142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26577DiVA: diva2:247126