Childhood Sexual Abuse and Self-Destructive Behavior Research Paper by write123

Childhood Sexual Abuse and Self-Destructive Behavior
A literature review of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse, dissociation and self-destructive behavior.
# 105888 | 5,754 words | 18 sources | APA | 2008 | US

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The early childhood years are universally recognized as being a critically important developmental period for human beings, and when normal patterns of parental caregiving and nurturing are disrupted or when children experience abuse at the hands of others, the consequences can be profound, pervasive and even life-threatening. This literature review examines the relationship between childhood sexual abuse, dissociation and self-destructive behavior. The studies are grouped according to those studies concerning childhood sexual abuse and dissociation, those that concern childhood sexual abuse and various self-destructive behaviors, and those that investigate the relationship between all three factors.

Studies Concerning Childhood Sexual Abuse and Dissociation
Studies Concerning Childhood Sexual Abuse and Self-Destructive Behaviors
Studies Examining All Three Variables

From the Paper:

"When families experience the trauma of sexual abuse, the processes by which these multiple and competing reactions on the part of the parent and the child tend to interfere with the normal processes that provide families with the means to achieve healthy functioning following such episodes of abuse. In this regard, Silberg (2004) reports that when children are sexually abused, there will be a natural tendency to engage in a number of emotional responses that may compete for primacy, including a desire for secrecy, individual victimization memories and sexual experiences, and confused and mixed emotions in the child and the parent. According to this researcher, "This is likely to be the case whether the conflicting feelings are a result of abuse within the family or from maltreatment by an individual outside of the family. In either case, these competing processes lead to dissociative manifestations, forgetting, and inability to make adequate meaning out of the feelings, perceptions, and ideas stimulated by the sexual abuse" (Silberg, 2004, p. 490). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abramson, E. E., & Lucido, G. M. (1991). Childhood sexual experience and bulimia. Addictive Behaviors, 16, 529-32.
  • Brown, L., Russell, J., Thornton, C., & Dunn, S. (1999). Dissociation, abuse and the eating disorders: Evidence from an Australian population. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 33, 521-28.
  • Chu, J. A. (1990). Dissociative symptoms in relation to childhood physical and sexual abuse, American Journal of Psychiatry,
  • Coons, P. M. (1994). Confirmation of childhood abuse in childhood and adolescent cases of multiple personality disorder and dissociative disorders not otherwise specified. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 182, 461-64.
  • Finkelhor, D. (1990). Early and long-term effects of child sexual abuse: An update. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 21, 325-330.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Childhood Sexual Abuse and Self-Destructive Behavior (2008, July 21) Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Childhood Sexual Abuse and Self-Destructive Behavior" 21 July 2008. Web. 05 March. 2021. <>