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Nonoffending parent expectations of sexually abused children: Predictive factors and influence on children's recovery

Haig Kouyoumdjian, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The potential negative effects of adult expectations on children's functioning have been well researched in the psychological literature in a variety of contexts. However, despite the stigma associated with child sexual abuse and the association between adults' negative expectations about children's functioning and adverse outcomes in children, there has been minimal research on the role of parental expectations on the recovery of sexually abused children. To that end, the primary focus of this study was to examine the influence parental expectations had on the functioning of sexually abused children and to better understand the factors that contribute to the development of these expectations. Participants included 63 sexually abused youth and their nonoffending primary caregiver who participated in a larger treatment study. Parental expectations about how sexual abuse will impact their children was shown to be a strong predictor of parents' ratings of children's behavior at pre-treatment while parental expectations of children's overall future functioning was not found to predict parents' ratings of children's behavior. Pre-treatment scores for parental expectations about how sexual abuse will impact their children were not however predictive of parents' ratings of children's behavior at post-treatment. In examining a variety of factors (i.e., child, parent, and abuse variables) that may predict parental expectations, results failed to reveal any clearly identifiable predictors of parental expectations about the impact sexual abuse will have on children or parental expectations about the future functioning of their children. In summary, the results of this study highlight the influential role the sexual abuse label has in shaping parental expectations about children's functioning and suggests that factors which contribute to the development of these expectations vary widely among parents. Recommendations for research and intervention are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Kouyoumdjian, Haig, "Nonoffending parent expectations of sexually abused children: Predictive factors and influence on children's recovery" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3167462.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3167462

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