• Child sexual abuse and the subsequent adolescent sexual, family planning, and fertility patterns of low-income women

      Castle-Young, Brenda G.; Crymes, Joseph T. (1992)
      This study compares the adolescent sexual behaviors, fertility patterns and family planning behaviors of low socioeconomic, single parent women who reported a history of child sexual abuse (N = 38) with those who did not (N = 437). All questions on sexual behaviors, family planning behaviors, and fertility patterns were taken verbatim from the National Survey of Family Growth Cycle 3, (1981) from the National Center on Health Statistics. The data for this study was gathered in a survey conducted from September 1984 to June 1985. This secondary analysis of 475 cases began with a simple bivariate analysis of CSA related to each of the hypothesized outcomes. Subsequently, for each hypothesized outcome a regression analysis was conducted which included child sexual abuse (CSA) and the control variables race, age at time of interview, years of school achieved, and parenting support. The findings revealed that women who reported CSA had their first intercourse at an earlier age, had more sexual partners, had less committed relationships, had a greater number of live births, and were less likely to have had an abortion than women who reported CSA. However, there was inadequate support for the hypotheses which predicted differences between the two groups on age at first live birth, contraception patterns, opinion of responsibility for contraception, or percent of unwanted live births. Additionally, several of the situational factors had impact on some of these behavioral outcomes. Increased frequency of CSA increased the number of sexual partners, decreased the use of contraception, and increased the percent of unwanted live births. As the severity of CSA increased, the age at first intercourse was younger. The earlier age that CSA began and the greater the number of perpetrators, the greater the number of sexual partners that were reported. The greater the number of perpetrators, the less likely a CSA victim was to use contraceptives between first intercourse and first pregnancy. If the perpetrator was a family member, opinion of self-responsibility for contraception decreased. These consequences of CSA likely lead to decreased life chances and serious health problems.
    • Depressive symptoms, depletion or developmental change? Multidimensionality in the Geriatric Depression Scale according to contemporary interpretations of the disengagement theory of aging

      Adams, Kathryn Betts; Saltz, Constance Corley (2000)
      Lewinsohn et al. (1991) have noted that some symptoms of depression, such as lack of social interest and greater self-involvement, mirror normal attributes of older adults according to Disengagement Theory (Cumming & Henry, 1961), the early developmental theory of aging which stated that there is a mutual social and affective withdrawal between the older adult and his social environment. Socio-Emotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 1992) and gerotranscendence (Tornstam, 1997) both also describe the narrowing of the older person's social world and decreasing investment in activities and social relationships. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; Brink et al., 1982), a 30-item self-report scale, was developed specifically to screen older individuals for depressive symptoms. Six GDS items, comprising a "Withdrawal/Apathy/[Lack of] Vigor" (WAV) dimension appear to be descriptive of disengagement and may lead to over-identification depression in older adults. The GDS, demographic and health measures, and an index of changes in activity and interest level developed for this study were mailed to 990 members of a large Health Maintenance Organization 65 years of age or older. Respondents returned 327 completed surveys and 163 "Decline" postcards after one mailing. Key findings include that GDS WAV contributed disproportionately to identification of depression. Endorsement rates for the items in WAV were among the scale's highest, whereas those of the 14-item Dysphoria factor were among the lowest, suggesting that WAV items are less likely to be "pathological." WAV's correlation with age was significant; Dysphoria's was not. In a multiple regression on the 28-item disengagement score WAV was the strongest predictor after controlling for age, health and Dysphoria. Approximately one third of the full sample and 60% of those aged 75 and over were identified as having at least moderate disengagement without depression. Disengagement is akin to "depletion of normal aging" and relates to changes in physical health and functioning. Since the six WAV items appear congruent with disengagement or Socio-Emotional Selectivity, particularly in later old age, interpretation of the GDS in clinical or research settings may be improved by considering subscale scores, weighting the items, or figuring in age and health status of the respondent.
    • Protective factors to resilience in maltreated children: A developmental view

      Henry, Darla Lynn; Belcher, John R. (1996)
      The costs of child maltreatment to children, families and society have been extensively documented for the past 30 years. Children who have been maltreated by a primary caregiver respond with various behaviors to coping with living in an abusive environment. It was the intent of this qualitative research study to explore the protective factors that indicate resilience in a group of adolescents, maltreated as children, who have demonstrated competence and mastery towards independent living. The grounded theory method was chosen for this study because the research questions focused on the exploration and explanation of coping methods used by children who were maltreated. Seven adolescents (ages 13 to 20) and six professional child care workers were interviewed on three occasions to obtain their perceptions of their reactions to the abuse. These perceptions were then categorized into common patterns and themes, using the constant comparative method, towards working hypotheses indicative of the protective factors of resilience. Adolescents and child care professionals, all associated with the York County Children and Youth Services, York, Pennsylvania, were the participants in this study. Descriptive results of this study indicated the emergence of five themes that showed a progression of skills used by children to adapt to and cope with an abusive caregiver. These themes were: the child's perceptions of the abusing parent(s), normalizing the abusive environment, establishing a sense of safety through a perception of invisibility, developing a positive self value and having a future orientation. The successful progression through each of these themes resulted in a more resilient adolescent who demonstrated competency and mastery of adolescent tasks. These themes comprised a developmental perspective of resilience in maltreated children. The findings suggest that those children who were able to cope with maltreatment through these perceptions gained a sense of control in their lives. The more their actions minimized the impact of the abusive episodes, the more their value of self increased. As they began to discover pride in surviving and overcoming difficulties, more and more of their capabilities came into the work and play of daily life. Competency and mastery were reinforced through the reliance of self through the developing years. Resilience is a product of this adaptation to the abuse.