Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 395–405 | Cite as

Parental response to child sexual abuse trials involving day care settings

  • Ann W. Burgess
  • Carol R. Hartman
  • Susan J. Kelley
  • Christine A. Grant
  • Ellen B. Gray


This study examined the stress responses of parents to whether or not their child testified in a sexual abuse trial against defendants from a day care center. Parents completed a questionnaire and the SCL-90-R. Impact of Events scale, and Life Events Survey. Parents of 17 testifying children presented higher symptoms of psychological distress than parents of 50 nontestifying children sexually abused in day care centers. In addition, the reported stress was higher in fathers than mothers. Following disclosure of their child's sexual abuse, stressful life events of death in family, loss of income, and separation were associated with parents of testifying children.

Key words

parental stress child sexual abuse children testifying day care centers post-traumatic stress disorder stressful life events 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann W. Burgess
    • 1
  • Carol R. Hartman
    • 2
  • Susan J. Kelley
    • 3
  • Christine A. Grant
    • 4
  • Ellen B. Gray
    • 5
  1. 1.Psychiatric Mental Health NursingUniversity of Pennsylvania School of NursingPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Psychiatric Mental Health NursingBoston College School of NursingChestnut Hill
  3. 3.Pediatric NursingBoston College School of NursingChestnut Hill
  4. 4.Mental Health Clinical Research Center, Department of PsychiatryHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  5. 5.National Council of Jewish Women Center for the ChildNew York

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