Childhood Sexual Abuse in Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents

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Gilson, Kathryn and Lancaster, Sandra (2008) Childhood Sexual Abuse in Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32 (9). pp. 869-877. ISSN 0145-2134


Objective: To examine childhood sexual abuse in Australian childbearing adolescents and the contribution of abuse variables (sexual and physical abuse) to antenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety in adolescents. Methods: Seventy-nine adolescentsproceeding with apregnancy for the first timewere surveyed about abuse experiences andwere administered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at the third trimester and at 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum. Results: The prevalence of physical abuse before the age of 16 years was 20.5% and 9% of adolescentsmet the criteria for sexual abuse. Overall, 20.5% adolescents experienced some kind of abuse (sexual or physical) and 9% experienced both sexual and physical abuse. An experience of sexual and/or physical abuse was related to depression and anxiety in the postpartum, but not during pregnancy. Conclusions: The difficulties associated with the transition to parenting may be exacerbated for adolescent childbearers who have a history of abuse, and in turn, may increase vulnerability to experiencing depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety may increase perceived stress and compromise their functioning and their ability to parent.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > SEO Classification > 9299 Other Health
Keywords ResPubID15398. sexual abuse, adolescents, depression, anxiety, postpartum
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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