An exploration of family and individual profiles following father-daughter incest

Mark Dadds*, Michelle Smith, Yvonne Webber, Anthony Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of a range of psychometric assessments which attempted to identify family and individual variables associated with father-daughter incest. Psychometric self-report measures were used to examine differences between families in which incest had been confirmed and a matched comparison group. Significant differences between the members of the incest and the comparison groups included behavioral and self-esteem problems in the daughters and differences in the familial environments of the two groups. Daughters who had been sexually abused reported lower levels of self-esteem about their intellectual and school status. Mothers in the incest group reported that their daughters had more conduct problems than the comparison mothers. The incest families were generally reported to be higher in conflict and organization and lower in cohesion, expressiveness, and active recreation. No differences between groups were found for levels of marital adjustment, self-esteem in mothers, or overall level of psychopathology in the perpetrators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-586
Number of pages12
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Family systems
  • Father-daughter incest
  • Incest families
  • Psychopathology
  • Sexual abuse


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