Abuse disclosures of youth with problem sexualized behaviors and trauma symptomology

Rebecca Dillard, Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Kathryn Showalter, Kathryn G. Wolf, Megan M. Letson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The majority of youth with problem sexualized behaviors (PSB) have substantiated experiences of abuse or exposures to violence (Silovsky & Niec, 2002). Little is known about specific abuse experiences that may differentiate youth with PSB from those without. Few studies have examined the types of abuse associated with post-traumatic stress symptomology. Objective: The current study explored two research questions: (1) Do children with PSB differ from children without PSB in terms of their abuse disclosures?; and (2) Are the types of abuse disclosed associated with the child's scores on a post-traumatic stress measure?. Participants & setting: Data were analyzed for youth (N = 950) ages 3–18 years who completed a clinical assessment at a child advocacy center in the Midwest during the 2015 calendar year. Methods: Youth completed assessments that included a forensic interview and either the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) for children ages 3–10 years, or the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) for children ages 11–16 years. Bivariate logistic regression was used to answer the research questions. Results: Findings indicated that youths who disclosed offender to victim fondling were less likely to disclose PSB (OR = 0.460, p =.026), and children exposed to pornography were more likely to disclose PSB (OR = 3.252, p =.001). Additionally, youth who disclosed physical abuse (OR = 1.678, p =.001) or victim to offender sexual contact (OR = 2.242, p =.003) had higher odds of clinically significant trauma scores. Conclusions: Implications for practitioners and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child abuse
  • Maltreatment
  • Problem sexual behavior
  • Self-report
  • Trauma
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Abuse disclosures of youth with problem sexualized behaviors and trauma symptomology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this