Objective: This study investigated the association between psychological stress and perceived social support by examining the source of perceived social support (family, peers or teachers). Methods: Female victims of incest subjected to sexual abuse aged 9-18 years (n=31) and a control group consisting of age- and gender-matched girls with no history of psychological trauma were enrolled. All participants completed the Child Depression Inventory, Child Post-traumatic Stress Reaction Index and Perceived Social Support Scale-Revised. Results: The results showed that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms in victims of decreased significantly as perceived social support scores increased. Although the social support that incest victims perceived from families was significantly lower, perceived social support from families nevertheless significantly reduced symptoms of both depression and PTSD. No significant correlation was determined between perceived support from peers and psychological symptoms, while perceived social support from teachers reduced symptoms of PTSD. Discussion: Endeavors aimed at better understanding the interaction between sources of social support and psychological impact in incest experienced by children are important in terms of guiding preventive measures and treatment.
child, sexual abuse, incest, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, perceived social support
Article Language: Turkish English