Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 295–300 | Cite as

Forms of Social Support That Moderate PTSD in Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors

  • Scott M. Hyman
  • Steven N. GoldEmail author
  • Melissa A. Cott


Although social support has been found to attenuate psychological symptoms in victims of sexual abuse, literature does not identify the specific forms of social support that mitigate maladjustment following a sexual abuse experience. This study sought to distinguish the specific types of perceived social support that buffer the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). One hundred and seventy-two adult females reporting CSA were administered the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL) and the Impact of Events Scale (IES). The ISEL measures the perceived availability of 4 support types. The IES measures core PTSD symptoms of intrusion and avoidance. Regression analysis indicated that social support significantly buffered PTSD development. The best model was one which contained self-esteem and appraisal support. Tangible and belonging support added little to prediction. Further, self-esteem support was identified as the most important variable in preventing PTSD development.

child sexual abuse social support post-traumatic stress disorder 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott M. Hyman
    • 1
  • Steven N. Gold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melissa A. Cott
    • 1
  1. 1.Trauma Resolution and Integration Program, Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale

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