Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 195–205

The long-term sequelae of sexual abuse: Support for a complex posttraumatic stress disorder

Authors

  • Caron Zlotnick
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • Audrey L. Zakriski
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • M. Tracie Shea
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • Ellen Costello
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • Ann Begin
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • Teri Pearlstein
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
  • Elizabeth Simpson
    • Brown University and Butler Hospital
Regular Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02110655

Cite this article as:
Zlotnick, C., Zakriski, A.L., Shea, M.T. et al. J Trauma Stress (1996) 9: 195. doi:10.1007/BF02110655

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and symptoms of a newly proposed complex posttraumatic stress disorder or disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS). Compared to 34 women without histories of sexual abuse, 74 survivors of sexual abuse showed increased severity on DESNOS symptoms of somatization, dissociation, hostility, anxiety, alexithymia, social dysfunction, maladaptive schemas, self-destruction, and adult victimization. In addition, a logistic regression found that a complex of symptoms representing DESNOS was significantly related to a history of sexual abuse. Consistent with other studies, the results of this study provide support for the idea that symptoms of DESNOS characterize survivors of sexual abuse.

Key words

childhood sexual abusecomplex posttraumatic stress disorderdisorder of extreme stress

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1996