SELF-REPORTED SYMPTOMS AND PARENTS’ EVALUATION OF BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN PRESCHOOLERS DISCLOSING SEXUAL ABUSE

Martine Hébert, Rachel Langevin, Marie-Josée Bernier

Abstract


Child sexual abuse is a prevalent social problem known to have a deleterious impact on the mental health. While sexual abuse may affect preschool children, there is a lack of knowledge regarding its short-term correlates, namely regarding internalized symptomatology due to the few available self-report measures. This study aims to (a) contrast self-reported symptomatology in a group of sexually abused preschoolers and a group of non-abused children, and (b) provide preliminary data on the psychometric properties of the adapted French version of the PRESS. Results indicate that children in the sexual abuse group (n = 59) show higher levels of self-reported depressive symptoms than children in the comparison group (n = 66). Caregivers described sexually abused preschoolers as displaying more internalized and externalized behavior problems than their non-abused peers.


Keywords


child sexual abuse, preschoolers, depression, self-reports

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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