The Relationship Between Child Sexual Abuse and Academic Achievement in a Sample of Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients

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Buckle, Sarah, Lancaster, Sandra, Powell, Martine and Higgins, Daryl (2005) The Relationship Between Child Sexual Abuse and Academic Achievement in a Sample of Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients. Child Abuse and Neglect, 29 (9). pp. 1031-1047. ISSN 0145-2134


Objectives: To examine the relationship between sexual abuse and academic achievement in an adolescent inpatient psychiatric population. Individual factors expected to influence this relationship were measured to explore the way they each interacted with sexual abuse and its relationship to academic achievement. Method: Eighty-one adolescent psychiatric inpatients participated in the study (aged 12–18 years: M = 16.0). Participants were administered tests of academic achievement (dependent variable) and intelligence, and completed a number of self-report measures of their experience of different types of maltreatment, their perception of the parenting they received, socio-economic status, substance abuse, and psychopathology. Results: Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that intelligence was the main predictor of academic achievement (uniquely explaining 26% of the variance). A number of interaction effects were also significant indicating that intelligence, substance abuse, internalizing behavior problems, externalizing behavior problems all influenced the relationship between sexual abuse and academic achievement. Discussion: Examining the impact of sexual abuse is complex because it is typically an experience embedded in a range of other risk factors, such as poverty, family dysfunction, and other types of maltreatment. This study demonstrated coexistence between sexual abuse and a number of other variables, including other maltreatment types and parental overprotection, underscoring the requirement for complex models of research that more accurately reflect the experience of abused children.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.12.013
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences
Keywords ResPubID9402, sexual abuse, academic achievement, adolescent psychiatric inpatients
Citations in Scopus 22 - View on Scopus
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