Editor Papa Research May 30, 2019

Behavior problems in sexually abused preschoolers over a 1-year period: The mediating role of attachment representations

According to the developmental psychopathology framework, adverse childhood experiences, including child sexual abuse (CSA), may alter the course of normal development in children. Attachment security has been identified as a protective factor against psychopathology and may thus play a critical role in predicting victims’ adaptation. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the mediating effect of attachment representations in the relation between CSA and behavior problems over a 1-year period. The sample consisted of 391 children (251 sexually abused) aged 3.5 to 6 years. The Attachment Story Completion Task and the Child Behavior Checklist were used. Disorganized attachment partially mediated the relation between CSA and children’s internalizing and externalizing behavior problems 1 year following the initial assessment. This mediation effect was not found for ambivalent nor secure attachment dimensions. Child gender was found to moderate the association between CSA and disorganization, with larger effects of CSA among boys. These findings underscore the importance of considering attachment representations in treatment programs for preschool victims. Evidence-based practice focusing on trauma could be combined with an attachment-based intervention targeting the parent–child relationship. Moreover, interventions should be gender sensitive, as CSA appears to affect boys and girls differently. [1]

The semantics of emotion in false memory.

The emotional valence of target information has been a centerpiece of recent false memory research, but in most experiments, it has been confounded with emotional arousal. We sought to clarify the results of such research by identifying a shared mathematical relation between valence and arousal ratings in commonly administered normed materials. That relation was then used to (a) decide whether arousal as well as valence influences false memory when they are confounded and to (b) determine whether semantic properties that are known to affect false memory covary with valence and arousal ratings. In Study 1, we identified a quadratic relation between valence and arousal ratings of words and pictures that has 2 key properties: Arousal increases more rapidly as function of negative valence than positive valence, and hence, a given level of negative valence is more arousing than the same level of positive valence. This quadratic function predicts that if arousal as well as valence affects false memory when they are confounded, false memory data must have certain fine-grained properties. In Study 2, those properties were absent from norming data for the Cornell-Cortland Emotional Word Lists, indicating that valence but not arousal affects false memory in those norms. In Study 3, we tested fuzzy-trace theory’s explanation of that pattern: that valence ratings are positively related to semantic properties that are known to increase false memory, but arousal ratings are not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved) [2]

The prevalence of unfounded suspicions of child sexual abuse in Finland

Scholars and investigators of child sexual abuse (CSA) have long pointed out that some CSA allegations may be unfounded. However, no population-based estimates of the occurrence of false allegations have previously been undertaken. The present study presents the first population-based prevalence estimates of unfounded allegations of CSA. We analyzed two data collections: first, a representative sample of adolescents (N = 11,364; aged 12 or 15 years), and second, a representative sample of adults (N = 2484, mean age 34 years). Experiences of CSA were reported by 2.4% of adolescents and 8.9% of adults. Unfounded suspicions of CSA (e.g. someone falsely believing CSA had taken place) were reported by 1.5% of adolescents and 1.9% of adults. Of the unfounded suspicions, 14.5 and 9.1%, for adolescents and adults, respectively, had been reported to the authorities. The prevalence of CSA seems to decrease while more and more allegations reach the authorities. Whereas a low threshold for reporting suspicions of CSA to authorities is in the interest of protecting as many actual CSA victims as possible, more research is needed to separate unfounded versus founded allegations to minimize the risk of erroneous conclusions in investigations of CSA. [3]

521 U. UREALYTICUM (UU) AND M, HOMINIS (MH) COLONIZATION AMONG SEXUALLY ABUSED (SA) CHILDREN

The genital mycoplasmas UU and MH have long been considered as possible pathogens of the genital tract. They are thought to be a major cause of nonspecific urethritis in adult males, and colonization after puberty is closely related to sexual activity. However, their role in pediatric genital infections has not been evaluated. The association of gonorrhea and chlamydia with sexual abuse in children prompted us to study UU and MH as possible markers for sexual abuse.40 children presenting for evaluation of suspected sexual abuse were studied. Vaginal or urethral cultures were taken for N. gonorrhea, chlamydia, UU and MH. 19 patients (48%) were colonized with UU. 5 patients (12%) were colonized with MH. We compared this data with previously reported rates of colonization in “normal” children (Fed. Clin. NA 21:457, 1974) by chi square analysis.The significantly increased rate of UU colonization among SA children suggests that UU is often acquired following sexual abuse. [4]

Sexual Abuse and Its Impact on Achievement Motivation: A Comparative Study between Sexually Abused and Non-sexually Abused Adolescents

Aims: To compare the levels of achievement motivation between sexually abused and non-sexually abused adolescents; to assess significant gender differences in achievement motivation between sexually abused and non-sexually abused adolescents.

Study Design: The present study was ex-post facto in nature. The purposive sampling method was employed to select the participants for the study. The sample of the study was administered the Deo-Mohan Achievement Motivation scale through one to one interaction.

Place and Duration of Study: The sample was selected from educational institutions (Schools and Colleges) and Non-Governmental Organizations from Goa. The duration of the study was February 2013 to February 2017.

Methodology: Permission was obtained from concerned authorities i.e., the incharges of the schools, colleges, and Non-government organizations for conducting the study. The participants were contacted personally and after assuring confidentiality and obtaining informed consent, the Deo-Mohan Achievement Motivation Scale and the personal and socio-demographic information questionnaire were administered. The obtained raw scores were converted into standard scores and analyzed using t-test.

Sample: Sexually abused and non-sexually abused adolescents in the age group of 11 to 18 years were selected in the study. Sexually abused adolescents included those adolescents who have been victims of any form of sexual abuse (Contact abuse: includes oral, vaginal and anal penetration, touching, kissing and masturbation; Non-contact sexual abuse:  includes deliberate exposure of breasts or genitalia or witnessing a sexual act, either live or in films and photographs in print or electronic form). Non-sexually abused adolescents include those adolescents who have never been a victim of any form of sexual abuse. The total sample used in the study was 392. Of them, 192 were sexually abused adolescents (78 Males, 114 Females) and 200 were sexually non-abused adolescents (100 Males, 100 Females).

Results: Significantly low mean scores were obtained on achievement motivation by sexually abused adolescents (102.35, SD 17.10) while high mean scores were obtained by non-sexually abused adolescents (136.43, SD 16.67). The ‘t’ analyses (t=9.97, P<0.01) revealed significant difference among the sample groups with sexually abused adolescents having a lower achievement motivation than non-sexually abused adolescents. To highlight the gender difference gender analyses was carried out separately.

Significantly higher mean scores (116.33, SD 23.25) were obtained on achievement motivation by sexually abused male adolescents while sexually abused female adolescents obtained a lower mean scores (102.65, SD 15.22).  The ‘t’ analyses (t= 1.96, p< 0.05) revealed significant differences

between male and female sexually abused adolescents with males having a higher achievement motivation than females.

No significant differences were obtained on achievement motivation among non-sexually abused male 139.50 (SD 14.35) and female adolescents 135.18 (SD 17.04).

Conclusion: It was found that sexually abused adolescents have significantly lower levels of achievement motivation than non-sexually abused adolescents. A significant difference was observed in achievement motivation among sexually abused adolescents with regard to gender with females having a lower level of achievement motivation than males. No significant difference was noticed in achievement motivation among non-sexually abused adolescents with regard to gender. [5]

Reference

[1] Charest, F., Hébert, M., Bernier, A., Langevin, R. and Miljkovitch, R., 2019. Behavior problems in sexually abused preschoolers over a 1-year period: The mediating role of attachment representations. Development and psychopathology31(2), pp.471-481.(Web Link)

[2] Brainerd, C.J. and Bookbinder, S.H., 2019. The semantics of emotion in false memory. Emotion19(1), p.146. (Web Link)

[3] Korkman, J., Antfolk, J., Fagerlund, M. and Santtila, P., 2019. The prevalence of unfounded suspicions of child sexual abuse in Finland. Nordic Psychology71(1), pp.39-50.(Web Link)

[4] 521 U. UREALYTICUM (UU) AND M, HOMINIS (MH) COLONIZATION AMONG SEXUALLY ABUSED (SA) CHILDREN

Daniel L Coury,Joseph E Dohar,George K Haines,Charles F Johnson &D Powell

Pediatric Researchvolume 19, page197 (1985)(Web Link)

[5] Henriques, J., Shivakumara, K., Nagaraj, O. and Vedamurthy, B. N. (2018) “Sexual Abuse and Its Impact on Achievement Motivation: A Comparative Study between Sexually Abused and Non-sexually Abused Adolescents”, Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 25(1), pp. 1-11. doi: 10.9734//JESBS/2018/37817. (Web Link)

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