Title page for ETD etd-10132005-152543

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lane, Mary Kathleen
URN etd-10132005-152543
Title Post-traumatic stress disorder in previously abused male sex offenders
Degree PhD
Department Clinical Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Clum, George A. Jr. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Crawford, Helen J. Committee Member
Desiderato, Laurie Committee Member
Winett, Richard A. Committee Member
  • Adult child sexual abuse victims Mental health
  • Sex offenders Mental health
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
Date of Defense 1991-10-15
Availability restricted

One hundred, primarily incarcerated, adult male sex offenders, were interviewed to determine the extent of their own experience of childhood sexual abuse and their incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Also investigated were the roles played by various aspects of sexual abuse in the development of PTSD and other psychological disorders.

Fifty seven percent of the sample reported having been sexually victimized. Findings regarding age when the abuse began, use of force and severity of body violation were consistent with previous studies. As was found in prior research, the majority of their abusers were known to them and were women. Abuse by men and having been anally penetrated were correlated with the development of PTSD. Also implicated in the development of PTSD and related symptomology was the use of force during the abuse, severity of bodily violation, and, inconsistently, duration of the abuse. Regression analysis revealed use of force, not telling about the abuse as a child, a closer relationship to one's perpetrator, and increased severity of body violation to be, in combination, most consistently predictive of PTSD development. In the sexually abused sample, 33% received a retrospective diagnosis of PTSD, while five percent were currently diagnosed. This contrasts with rates found in the non-sexually abused sample of 7% past diagnosis of PTSD and 2% current diagnosis of PTSD.

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