Matters of resilience: mattering relationships and renegotiated masculinity in resilient college males with histories of child sexual abuse

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth Gest Graves (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
L. DiAnne Borders

Abstract: Reticence of child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors to disclose abuse is well documented (Alaggia, 2004). One particularly silent group throughout the course of CSA research has been males (Finkelhor, 1983; Hopper, 2010; Watkins & Bentovim, 1992). As a result, much of what is known about males with CSA histories today is limited. Recently, however, researchers qualitatively examined small samples of males with CSA histories to discover processes of recovery salient to males' experiences (Andersen, 2008; Hunter, 2007; Kia-Keating, Grossman, Sorsoli, & Epstein, 2005; Kia-Keating, Sorsoli, & Grossman, 2010). Several themes emerged from these narratives with enough consistency that cross-validation via quantitative investigation in larger samples is indicated in the interest of furthering knowledge in this field of research. Themes included (a) existence of a safe place relationship; (b) rejection of traditional norms of masculinity, adoption of a new notion of masculinity and acceptance of self within that new definition; and (c) reaching out to others in a spirit of altruism. This study sought to investigate the extent to which these variables were evidenced in a sample of college men reporting CSA. Fifty-five college-enrolled males with histories of child sexual abuse were surveyed to determine to what extent these variables impact the development of resilience. The Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire--Revised (SLESQ-R) was used to determine presence of CSA experiences. The Resilience Scale (RS) was used to measure the dependent variable. Independent variables were measured using Mattering to Others Questionnaire (MTOQ), Male Role Attitudes Scale (MRAS) and the Hoffman Gender Scale (HGS). Results indicated that mattering and altruism bore no significant relation to the development of resilience. Gender self-acceptance (HGS subscale), however, was found to predict significantly the development of resilience. Neither respondent demographic descriptors, nor the variety of criterion upon which inclusion in the study was based, was found to be significantly related to resilience.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Altruism, Child Sexual Abuse, Males, Masculine Identity, Mattering, Resilience
Male sexual abuse victims
Sexually abused boys
Resilience (Personality trait)

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