Original Abstract of the Conference
It is increasingly recognized that child sexual abuse (CSA) has significant consequences that can affect mental health. Many adverse impacts can develop in female adolescent victims, such as negative affect, aggressive behaviors and suicidality.
Empirical data documented the association between CSA and suicidality, but studies show heterogeneous results as to the potential risk factors involved, highlighting the importance to pursue research with this population. The current study aims to examine the role of negative affect and aggressive behaviors as potential risk factors of suicidality among sexually abused adolescents girls, and the possible moderating role of CSA severity.
A sample of 155 sexually abused female adolescents (ages 14-18) participated by completing self-report questionnaires. In our sample, 64.9% of participants reported suicidal thoughts. Results revealed that the logistic regression models were significant, indicating that aggressive behaviors and negative affect constitute risk factors of suicidality in female adolescent CSA victims. Also, the results support the moderating role of CSA severity in the link between negative affect and suicidality. CSA severity thus seems to act as an aggravating factor.
This study might help therapists and researchers working with female adolescent CSA victims to better target and decrease the risk of suicidality, providing guidelines in intervention practices for this population. As such, professionals should consider the history of trauma and aim to decrease negative affect and aggressive behaviors to better reduce suicidal ideations.
Girard, M., Hébert, M., Godbout, N., Cyr, M. and Frappier, J-Y. (2018). Preliminary study of risk factors of suicidality in female adolescent victims of sexual abuse: logistic regression models. International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.19243.75041.