Parenting and Childhood Sexual Abuse Amani Ahmed, Pam Altemos, Alicia Bowles, Brooke Grover, Brijan Knaap, Katie Marsh, and Lisa Meijer
At least one in five girls and one in ten to twenty boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood (Finkelhor, 1994)
What this means to you: It means if you attend a class or concert with 100 attendees, between 10 and 20 of those in the room were sexually abused as a child (www.stopitnow.org)
Parenting and Childhood Sexual Abuse • Child sexual abuse defined – sexual activities involving a child and an adult and is distinguished by several elements • Parenting functioning is greatly affected by three components: - Personality development/ psychological well-being - Child Characteristics - Social support and network
Belsky’s Process Model of the Determinants of Parenting Marital Relations Social Network Personality Developmental History Parenting Child Characteristics Work Child Development Source: Belsky, J. (1984). The determinants of parenting: A process model. Child Development. 55, 83-98.
Literature Review • Belsky, J. (1984). The determinants of parenting: A process model. Child Development. 55, 83-96. • Sigelman, C. & Rider, E. (2003). Life-Span Human development (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Literature Review: Parenting Sense of Competence Scale • Gibaud-Wallston, J. & Wandersman, L.P. (1978). Development and utility of the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto. • Johnston, C. & Mash, E. (1989). A measure of parenting and satisfaction and efficacy. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology. 18(2), 167-175.
Literature Review:Questionnaire of Childhood Experiences • Finkelhor, D. (1979). Sexually victimized children. Chapter 3: A survey on children’s sexual victimization. pp. 34-52. The Free Press: New York. • Briere, J. & Runtz, M. (1988). Symptomatology associated with childhood sexual victimization in a non-clinical sample. Child Abuse and Neglect. 12, 51-59.
Gaps in Literature • Limited number of studies that focus on the relationship between parenting and childhood sexual experience
Hypothesis We hypothesize that a negative correlation will be found between a mothers’ sense of competence in parenting and experiences with childhood sexual abuse
Contribution to Social Work This study will contribute to the current social work knowledge base by offering further information on the topic of parenting and child sexual abuse
Sample • Two hundred four mothers • Convenience sample • Friends • Family • Colleagues • Acquaintances • Clients
Measures • Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC) • Survey of Childhood Experiences
Parenting Sense of Competence Scale • Originally developed for new parents • Manipulated by Johnston and Mash in 1989 for use with children ages 4 to 9 • Further modified for this study to be used strictly with mothers • Considers two factors: • Satisfaction – reflects frustration, anxiety and motivation in parenting • Efficiency – reflects competence, problem solving ability and capability
Survey of Childhood Experiences • Examines childhood sexual experiences using a community standard to define victimization based on the age of the child and age of the abuser • Modified version of Finkelhor’s survey was used for this study with 10 open-ended questions about the participants’ childhood sexual experience
Procedure • Single post-test only design • IRB Approval • Informal self-administered pilot test
Procedure • Survey was distributed including: • Letter of invitation • Survey • Blank return envelope
Procedure • Graduate students input data into SPSS • Data was cleaned by graduate class as a whole
Results • 204 mother’s were surveyed • 109 indicated at least one experience with childhood sexual abuse (53.4%) • 95 reported no history of childhood sexual experience (46%)
Results • 109 indicated at least one experience with childhood sexual abuse (53.4%) • 95 reported no history of childhood sexual experience (46%)
Results • PSOC global – mother’s score • N=166 • M=44.86 • SD= 9.942 • Pearson correlations • Correlation between PSOC and CES scales was not significant
Discussion • Results indicate that there is no relationship between childhood sexual abuse and a mother’s sense of parenting • Past research has indicated that the determinants of parenting are indirectly affected by the influence of one’s developmental history (Belsky, 1984). The results of this study, however, did not support this notion • Hypothesis not confirmed
Strengths • Study attempts to gather information about a possible relationship that has had limited research thus far and fill in gaps in current literature • Reliability and the validity of the PSOC scale • Feedback gathered from the self-administered pilot test
Limitations • Size of sample • Diversity of sample • Type of sample - Convenience vs. Random • Measures -Directions -Understanding of questions -Sensitive nature of questions
Implications for social work Practice • Study will be helpful in gaining a more holistic understanding of the interlocking factors influencing these issues • Knowledge gained can be incorporated into social work and therapeutic settings