Self esteem, depression, behaviour and family functioning in sexually abused children

Anne E. Stern, Deborah L. Lynch, R. Kim Oates*, Brian I. O'Toole, George Cooney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    87 Citations (Scopus)


    Eighty-four sexually abused children and their families, were compared with controls to look at short-term effects of sexual abuse. The abuse group had more marital breakdown, unemployment, communication problems within the family and poor maternal mental health. The abused children had more depression, low self-esteem and behaviour disorder, There was no relationship between intrafamilial abuse and depression, self-esteem or behaviour disorder. More severe abuse was related to low self-esteem and children's negative perceptions of their mothers. In planning treatment the child's relationship to the perpetrator may need less emphasis, with more on self-esteem, depression, family functioning and the child's perceptions of the family.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1077-1089
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1995


    • Child sexual abuse
    • family function
    • intra-familial/extra-familial


    Dive into the research topics of 'Self esteem, depression, behaviour and family functioning in sexually abused children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this