Date of Award

Fall 8-1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A Blick

Second Advisor

Dr. Theresa A. Kruczek

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew F. Newcomb


The sexual victimization of children in an increasing crime problem in this country and is now also recognized as a serious mental health issue. It has been estimated that the risk of victimization could be as high as one in ten for boys (Finkelhor, 1979) and one in three for girls (Anderson, Martin, Mullen, Romans, & Herbison, 1993). Girls are eight times as likely as boys to suffer rape (Finkelhor & Dziuba-Leatherman, 1994). Prevalence rates estimate between 15% and 38% of women (Finkelhor, 1984; Herman, 1981) and 6% of men (Finkelhor, 1984) have experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA).

There is also increasing evidence of the lasting traumatic impact of CSA. For some children its effects may persist over many years, even into adult life. McConkey (1992) estimates that at least 40% of CSA victims suffer enough from these symptoms to require therapy before or during adulthood. CSA can leave a victim with feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, negative beliefs about life, negative self-image, and diminished self-esteem (Briere, 1989; Briere & Runtz, 1993; Browne & Finkelhor, 1986; Courtois, 1979, 1988; Dolan, 1991; Grayston, De Luca, & Boyes, 1992; Greene, 1993; Herman, 1981; Herman, Russell, & Trocki, 1986; Jehu,, Klassen, & Gazan, 1986; Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & finkelhor, 1993; Mennen & Meadow, 1994; Vandermey & Neff, 1986).

Included in

Psychology Commons