Reports of childhood sexual abuse by adolescents and young adults: Stability over time

Matthew C. Aalsma, Gregory D. Zimet, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Margaret Blythe, Donald P. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The consistency of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) reporting was explored in this study. Two-hundred seventeen adolescents and young adults (ages 14-24) enrolled in urban health care clinics completed self-report questionnaires assessing CSA and other problem behaviors at enrollment and at 7 months. Results indicated that the stability of CSA self-report at two time points was poor (58% consistent nonreporters of CSA, 20% consistent reporters, 22% inconsistent reporters). Consistent and inconsistent reporters were differentiated on risk measures. Adolescents who endorsed more items from the CSA scale were five times more likely to be consistent reporters. In sum, adolescent CSA reporting was quite inconsistent over time. Using multi-item scales and assessing CSA at two time points enhances accuracy of reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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