Sexual abuse is associated with a host of negative repercussions in adolescence. Yet the possible mechanisms linking sexual abuse and negative outcomes are understudied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among self-blame, shame, coping strategies, posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation.
The sample included 147 sexually abused adolescent girls between 14 and 18 years of age. A total of 66% of girls reached clinical score for posttraumatic stress disorder, and 53% reached clinical score for depressive symptoms. Close to half (46%) reported suicidal thoughts in the past 3 months. Shame was found to partiallymediate the relationship between self-blame and posttraumatic stress disorder. Shame and depressive symptoms were also found to partiallymediate the relationship between self-blame and suicidal ideation.
Results suggest that shame is a crucial target in interventions designed for sexually abused adolescent girls.
Alix, S., Cossette, L., Hébert, M., Cyr, M. and Frappier, J-Y. (2017). Postraumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation among sexually abused adolescent girls: the mediating role of shame. Journal of Sexual Abuse, 26(2). DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2017.1280577.
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