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Original Article

Evaluation of abuse and abuser’s features and risk factors associated with psychopathology in children and adolescents victimized by sexual abuse

Çiğdem Yektaş, Ali Evren Tufan, Bora Büken, Nihal Yurteri Çetin, Merve Yazıcı.


Objective: The aim of this study to determine sociodemographic variables, characteristics of abuses and abusers, clinical diagnosis after abuse and factors associated with the psychopathology of sexually abused children and adolescents who referred to the department of child and adolescent psychiatry with the request of criminal report. Methods: Sexually abused 106 children and adolescents (83 girls and 23 boys) aged 3-18 years who referred for criminal reports were evaluated. Case files and criminal reports were examined retrospectively. Results: Great majority of the group was consisted of adolescent girls (63.2%). Touching to the body for sexual arousal was the most reported type of the sexual abuse (47.2%). 10.4% of the children reported multiway abuse. 32.1% of the cases experienced physical violence during sexual abuse. Other victims were also present in 17.0% (n=18) of the sample. Recurrent sexual abuse was found in 69.8% of cases. 50.0% of sexually abused cases were also exposed to different types of abuse within the family. The most common clinical diagnoses were post-traumatic stress disorder (24.5%) adjustment disorder (16.0%) and acute stress disorder (11.3%). Conclusion: Consistent with the literature, our finding, in which a significant proporiton of the cases were girls, shows that the girls are exposed to the sexual abuse more than boys. All abusers are male who were mostly familiar to the victims. Children and adolescents with mental retardation and experienced physical violence during abuse had a higher risk of developing psychopathology.

Key words: Sexual abuse, children, adolescents, psychopathology, mental disability, physical violence

Article Language: Turkish English

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