The zurich study

XVII. Sexual abuse in childhood. Frequency and relevance for adult morbidity data of a longitudinal epidemiological study
  • Cécile Ernst
  • Jules Angst
  • Monika Földényi
Original Articles


In the course of a 10-year longitudinal investigation of young Swiss adults, childhood sexual abuse was assessed at the age of 30 years. It was reported by 11.5% of women and by 3.5% of men; 56% of the females had been abused by relatives (none of the males), 20% by fathers. Abuse cases tended to be more depressed and anxious; they reported more suicide attempts and more sexual problems than controls and also slightly more psychiatric symptoms and neuroticism. Childhood familial risk factors were more frequent for abuse cases than for controls. Depression at adult age was more strongly connected with early familial risk factors than with early sexual abuse.

Key words

Child sexual abuse Adult age Family risk factors Anxiety Depression Personality 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Ernst
    • 1
  • Jules Angst
    • 1
  • Monika Földényi
    • 1
  1. 1.Research DepartmentPsychiatric University Hospital ZurichZürichSwitzerland

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