, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 211-221

Young adult women who report childhood intrafamilial sexual abuse: Subsequent adjustment

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Young adult women who had experienced incest and a matched comparison group were examined for differences in interpersonal functioning, sexual functioning, self-esteem, and emotional adjustment. Those reporting incest reported significantly poorer general social adjustment, especially in dating relationships. They had significantly lower levels of sexual satisfaction, lower self-esteem, and distorted body images, as well as greater depression and lower positive affect. These characteristics may be related not only to the incest experience but to the general family environment in which incest occurred, as significant differences in family characteristcs were also observed.

Preparation of this article was supported in part by a grant from the office of the Vice President for Research, University of Georgia.