Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology, Clinical-Community

Date of Defense

7-18-2006

Graduate Advisor

Michael G. Griffin, Ph.D.

Committee

Carl Hoagland, Ed.D.

Kamila White, Ph.D.

Lois Pierce, Ph.D.

Abstract

Child sexual abuse is a complicated stressor with a broad range of associated symptoms. It has been suggested that the coping techniques children utilize may act as a mediating variable in the relationship between child sexual abuse and subsequent difficulties. Until recently, child sexual abuse sequelae were assessed in a piecemeal fashion, with individual tests for each symptom domain and reporter. However, recent developments in the area of trauma assessment have provided researchers with complementary caretaker- and self-report measures to assess a broad range of trauma-related symptoms (i.e., the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children [TSCYC] and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children [TSCC], respectively). This project utilized the intake assessment data from children who were beginning psychotherapy services subsequent to sexual abuse. The TSCYC is a relatively new measure, therefore, Study 1 evaluated its internal consistency (N=308), the correlation between the caretaker- and self-report measures (N=135), and the convergent validity of the TSCYC with other caretaker-report measures of children¿s symptoms (N=135). The results indicated that the TSCYC has good internal consistency and convergent validity. The inter-correlation of the TSCYC and TSCC is quite low and consistent with other studies attempting to understand multi-informant assessment processes. Children and their caretakers describe very different pictures when asked about the children¿s difficulties. Study 2 (N=98) then evaluated the relationship between children¿s coping style as assessed by the KIDCOPE and trauma-related symptoms as reported by the children themselves and their caretakers. Overall, more external coping behaviors were associated with an increase in caretaker-reported symptoms, but internal coping was associated with more self-reported symptoms among children between the ages of eight and twelve years. The implications of these findings and future directions for research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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