Child Sexual Abuse Victims as Witnesses: The Influence of Testifying on Their Recovery

Child Sexual Abuse Victims as Witnesses: The Influence of Testifying on Their Recovery

Child Sexual Abuse Victims as Witnesses: The Influence of Testifying on Their Recovery

Child Sexual Abuse Victims as Witnesses: The Influence of Testifying on Their Recoverys

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Référence bibliographique [20458]

Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 86, p. 22-32.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«The present longitudinal study [aim] to examine the influence of testifying on the mental health of CSA [child sexual abuse] victims that benefited from therapeutic services at a CAC [Child Advocacy Centre].» (p. 28)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«The participants were recruited at a Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) in [Montreal]. This Centre provides specialized services to child victims of sexual abuse and their families. The sample is composed of 344 children, including 230 girls and 114 boys. […] The participants’ age ranged from 6 to 14 years old with the average age being 9 years old […].» (p. 24)

Instruments :
Questionnaire

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«Two main conclusions can be drawn from this study. First, all children, independently of their legal involvement, improve immediately after receiving therapeutic services at the CAC. Second, levels of emotional distress appeared to increase for children who have testified more than once 2 years after the initial assessment. More specifically, when we look at the evolution over time within each group, results revealed significant improvements after CAC services on the majority of the mental health indicators for the three groups. However, the group who testified more than once did not appear to maintain these improvements 2 years after the initial assessment and shows significant increments in their scores 2 years after the initial assessment on the measures of depression, anxiety, avoidance in parent-reported measures as well as child-reported measures of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and hypervigilance symptoms. Results for the comparison between groups at each time of assessment on the measure of child reports of hypervigilance indicate that although the group who testified more than once showed greater improvements in their scores after the intervention their distress significantly increased 2years after the initial assessment. On the measure of avoidance as evaluated by the accompanying parent, both groups of testifiers have significantly higher scores than the group who didn’t testify after the intervention and 1 and 2 years after the initial assessment.» (p. 29)