A contextualized investigation of traumatic correlates of childhood sexual abuse in Australian athletes

Leahy, Trisha and Pretty, Grace and Tenenbaum, Gershon (2008) A contextualized investigation of traumatic correlates of childhood sexual abuse in Australian athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6 (4). pp. 366-384. ISSN 1612-197X

Abstract

This study examined the traumatic sequelae associated with childhood sexual abuse from a contextualized perspective, taking into account childhood physical and psychological abuse experiences and adult trauma. Participants were 90 (45 men and 45 women) competitive athletes, purposefully selected to balance the distributions of sex and reported childhood sexual abuse across the sample. The study comprised a cross-sectional, retrospective investigation using well-established, standardized, selfreport questionnaires and a semi-structured interview. Results revealed that, within the total sample, childhood sexual, physical, and psychological abuse were strongly correlated. Reported childhood psychological abuse was the primary unique correlate of current posttraumatic and dissociative symptomatology. Reported childhood sexual abuse and psychological abuse were uniquely correlated with posttraumatic and dissociative symptomatology in the male sample. The unique correlate in the female sample was childhood physical abuse. The study provides initial data that support recent work in the trauma field with non-athletes, indicating that contextualized, trauma-based assessment and intervention is an appropriate therapeutic approach when working with athlete survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Specifically, the long-term traumatic sequelae associated with childhood sexual abuse need to be assessed and treated within a context that is sensitive to psychological abuse issues. Sex disaggregated analyses suggest that the social context of childhood sexual abuse may be qualitatively different for men and women. Implications for sport psychology practice, training, and research are discussed.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 7840
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Depositing User: Mrs Melissa Jarick
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2010 11:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: childhood abuse; trauma; gender; athletes
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170105 Gender Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1080/1612197X.2008.9671880
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7840

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only