Sexual Assault Disclosure in Relation to Adolescent Mental Health: Results From the National Survey of Adolescents

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joshua Broman-Fulks Ph.D, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Child sexual assault is a risk factor for a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems. Little is known about mental health functioning in relation to victims’ decisions to tell someone (or not) about their assault. This study used data from a nationally representative sample of 4,023 adolescents to examine the relation between sexual assault disclosure characteristics and mental health outcomes. Results indicated that youth who disclosed the assault to someone within 1 month were at reduced risk for current major depressive episode (MDE) and delinquency. No relation was found between disclosure latency and risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or substance use problems. Notably, disclosure to mothers was associated with significantly reduced risk for current PTSD and delinquency.

Additional Information

Broman-Fulks, J. J., Ruggiero, K. J., Hanson, R. F., Smith, D. W., Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Saunders, B. S. (2007). Sexual assault disclosure in relation to adolescent mental health: Results from the National Survey of Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36(2): 260-266. (Apr 2007) Published by Taylor & Francis (ISSN: 1537-4424). DOI: 10.1080/15374410701279701
Language: English
Date: 2007

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