Childhood sexual abuse and adult loneliness and network orientation

Rebecca L. Gibson, Timothy S. Hartshorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women who are sexually abused may be at greater risk for loneliness and less likely to utilize their social support system. Data regarding a history of sexual abuse, loneliness, and network orientation were gathered from 231 female university students, 24 of whom indicated a history of abuse, and from 26 female clients at two treatment centers. Victims of sexual abuse were found to be more lonely and less likely to utilize their social support system than the controls. Contrary to expectations, those who were in treatment were more lonely and less likely to use social support than those not in treatment. Those in treatment were also victims for a longer period of tithe involving more incidents than those not in treatment. One way ANOVA's found the treatment group more lonely than the nontreatment and control groups who did not differ from each other; however, on network orientation all groups differed from each other in the expected direction. These findings support reports that victims of sexual abuse tend to isolate themselves from others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1093
Number of pages7
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Sexual abuse
  • Social support

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