, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 235-245

Family characteristics and long-term consequences associated with sexual abuse

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As opposed to father—daughter incest, little attention has been paid to the long-term consequences and family dynamics associated with child sexual abuse of females perpetrated by extended family members or extrafamilial contacts. Female undergraduates (n = 586) completed questionnaires on family history, sexual experiences, and current functioning. Results confirmed other research suggesting that father—daughter incest is associated with a traditional patriarchal family structure. However, sexual abuse overall, regardless of perpetrator, was associated with certain uniform family characteristics. Moreover, sexual abuse had certain long-term consequences, regardless of perpetrator. These results suggest the importance of attention to family characteristics in all cases of child sexual abuse.