Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Several domains of child functioning were examined in 20 sexually abused girls, aged 5-12 years, referred to a child protection agency. Twenty clinical and 20 non-clinical nonabused girls, group-matched on age, parents' marital and socioeconomic status, served as comparison groups. Standardized measures, such as the Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form, were used to assess, in the children, intelligence, academic achievement, behaviour problems, impulsivity, social competence, sexualized behaviour, gender identity disturbance, and activity level. Multiple informants were utilized for some measures. Multivariate and univariate analyses indicated that the sexually abused girls were more impaired in behavioural and cognitive/academic functioning than were the non-clinical girls, but closely resembled the clinical girls in these areas. The sexually abused girls, however, appeared less socially competent than both the clinical and non-clinical girls. In addition, younger ($<$7 years) sexually abused girls demonstrated more sexualized behaviour than did older sexually abused girls and younger clinical and non-clinical girls. Maternal report on marital discord and maternal psychopathology did not evidence overall differences among the three groups, although a correlational analysis suggested that greater maternal symptomatology was associated with more behavioural disturbance and sexualized behaviour. Correlational analysis of the abuse-specific variables and child functioning measures indicated that an earlier age of onset was associated with more frequent sexualized behaviour, while fewer behavioural problems were associated with more frequent abuse and with more acts of the most as well as the least invasive abuse. Age was positively associated with fewer behavioural problems and sexualized behaviour, and with more enticement and bribes by the perpetrator. Implications for future interpersonal relationships and the potential impact on functioning for younger versus older sexually abused girls are discussed. The need for further research to determine the developmental course of the symptomatology is noted.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1991 .M255. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 53-01, Section: B, page: 0567. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1991.