Child sexual abuse, peer sexual abuse, and sexual assault in adulthood: A multi-risk model of revictimization

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Abstract

This study explored the predictors and consequences of sexual assault occurring after the age of 16 years in a nonclinical sample of women. Child sexual abuse occurring before the age of 16 years was the only predictor of later sexual assault among comorbid risk factors. Peer sexual abuse, number of perpetrators, age at time of sexual abuse, and severity of sexual abuse did not increase the risk for later sexual assault. Adult sexual assault victims showed lower levels of mental health functioning than did survivors of child or peer sexual abuse. We discuss a specificity model of revictimization and the differential effects of child, peer, and adult sexual trauma on the developmental trajectory of sexual violence and psychosocial functioning.

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