The associations between abuse characteristics in child sexual abuse: a meta-analysis

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a general term describing a wide range of events that vary in characteristics such as the victim’s age of onset, relationship to the perpetrator, abuse quantity, degree of contact, and use of force. To investigate correlations and provide information on the clustering of these characteristics, the present meta-analysis included data from 14,494 sexually abused individuals from 62 empirical peer-reviewed studies and doctoral theses. Results showed that victims of intrafamilial abuse were younger than victims of extrafamilial abuse. More force was used in abuse including higher degrees of physical contact. Intrafamilial abuse and early onset of abuse showed no statistically significant associations with either use of force or closer physical contact. Abuse was more frequent and/or committed over a longer time period when it (a) featured more contact or force, (b) involved a relative as a perpetrator, or (c) commenced when the child was younger. The associationswere weak to moderate in strength.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)167–180
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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