The Impact Of Childhood Sexual Abuse On Mental Health And High Risk Behaviors In A Sample Of Women
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Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is form of sexual violence that is insidious and deleterious. Children deserve the right to be free from abuse and harm. Families and those responsible for the care and supervision of children have a responsibility to protect and keep children safe. Too often children have succumbed to maltreatment and suffer through the harmful effects that have impacted their physical and mental health. In particular, the adverse effects of childhood sexual abuse may impact adulthood functioning leading to impairments in mental health and the engagement in high-risk behaviors. Data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey 2010, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were used to study the impact of CSA on selected mental health outcomes and high-risk behaviors in a representative sample of over 13,000 women. Chi-square analyses were used to determine the association between childhood sexual abuse and other characteristics of the women. Logistic regression models were used to determine if childhood sexual abuse was a predictor of selected mental health outcomes and high-risk behavior in the women. Models were developed to determine the extent to which childhood sexual abuse and other characteristics of the women were, independently and/or jointly, associated with selected mental health outcomes, and high-risk behavior. The findings of the study revealed that childhood sexual abuse was a significant predictor of anxiety-depressive disorders and high-risk behaviors in the women. The study's findings have implications for interventions, practice, policy, and further research.