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Br J Gen Pract. 1990 January; 40(330): 29–31.
PMCID: PMC1371212

Psychological sequelae of sexual abuse in childhood.


A questionnaire survey was carried out in one practice to determine the relationship between sexual abuse in childhood and subsequent psychological morbidity. Out of 418 women who replied (62% response rate), 60 (14%) admitted experiencing some form of sexual abuse as a child. Twenty of these (33%) were found to have a record of some form of psychological problem in adult life, compared with 14% of a sample of the non-abused respondents and 20% of the non-respondents. In particular, 54% of 13 women who had experienced oral, genital or anal penetration or attempted penetration had psychological morbidity recorded. There was no relationship, however, between sexual abuse and psychosexual or marital problems in later life.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Oates K. Sexual abuse of children. Aust Fam Physician. 1986 Jun;15(6):786–786. [PubMed]
  • Cohen L. Sexual abuse of children--a review. S Afr Med J. 1985 May 4;67(18):730–732. [PubMed]
  • Mrazek PJ, Lynch MA, Bentovim A. Sexual abuse of children in the United Kingdom. Child Abuse Negl. 1983;7(2):147–153. [PubMed]
  • Finkel KC. Sexual abuse of children in Canada. Can Med Assoc J. 1984 Feb 15;130(4):345–348. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wilson MS. Sexual abuse of children. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Sep;37(302):a416–416. [PMC free article]
  • Bentovim A, Boston P, van Elburg A. Child sexual abuse--children and families referred to a treatment project and the effects of intervention. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Dec 5;295(6611):1453–1457. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Browne A, Finkelhor D. Impact of child sexual abuse: a review of the research. Psychol Bull. 1986 Jan;99(1):66–77. [PubMed]
  • Fromuth ME. The relationship of childhood sexual abuse with later psychological and sexual adjustment in a sample of college women. Child Abuse Negl. 1986;10(1):5–15. [PubMed]

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