Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.


Larson, Julie Hakin,




This exploratory study was designed to gain some preliminary insight into the dynamic relationships among children's perceptions of the quality of their social support network, current attributional styles, and perceptions of self-blame related to their experiences of sexual abuse. Based on Hindman's (1989) model, it is proposed that children who have been sexually abused evaluate their victim status and assign self-blame according to perceptions of their relationships with both the offender and significant others. In this study, ten 8-17 year old female survivors of intrafamilial sexual abuse completed the Social Support Scale for Children and Adolescents (SSSC) (Harter, 1985), the Children's Attributional Style Questionnaire (KASTAN) (Seligman, Peterson, Kaslow, Tannenbaum, Alloy, & Abramson, 1984), and the Reflected Self-Parents measure of the Self Perception Inventory (SPI) (Soares & Soares, 1975). The participants' therapists provided ratings of the participants' degree of self-blame and social support related to the sexual abuse. These ratings were obtained using a modified version of the items from the Social Support and Self-Blame subscales of the Children's Impact of Traumatic Events Scale-Revised (CITES-R) (Wolfe & Gentile, 1991). Findings of the present study lend preliminary support to Hindman's (1989) model, in that participants who perceived higher levels of maternal support tended to blame themselves less for the abuse and were found to have less negative attributional styles than participants who perceived lower levels of maternal support. Moreover, participants who perceived higher levels of social support coming from the offender tended to blame themselves more for the abuse and were found to have more negative attributional styles than those who perceived less social support coming from the offender. Research and treatment implications of the present study are discussed, as are directions for future research.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .R44. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0881. Adviser: Julie Hakin Larson. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.