Author(s): Feiring C, Simon VA, Cleland CM, Barrett EP, Feiring C, Simon VA, Cleland CM, Barrett EP
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Abstract Although experiencing childhood sexual abuse (CSA) puts youth at risk for involvement in relationship violence, research is limited on the potential pathways from CSA to subsequent dating aggression. The current study examined prospective pathways from externalizing behavior problems and stigmatization (abuse-specific shame and self-blame attributions) to anger and dating aggression. One hundred sixty youth (73\% female, 69\% ethnic/racial minorities) with confirmed CSA histories were interviewed at the time of abuse discovery (T1, when they were 8-15 years of age), and again 1 and 6 years later (T2 and T3). Externalizing behavior and abuse-specific stigmatization were assessed at T1 and T2. Anger and dating aggression were assessed at T3. The structural equation model findings supported the proposed relations from stigmatization following the abuse to subsequent dating aggression through anger. Only externalizing behavior at T1 was related to later dating aggression, and externalizing was not related to subsequent anger. This longitudinal research suggests that clinical interventions for victims of CSA be sensitive to the different pathways by which youth come to experience destructive conflict behavior in their romantic relationships.
This article was published in J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior