Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 2022


Erickson, Z. 2022. Relationship Between Gender and Symptom Severity for Youth Who Have Been Sexually Abused. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Zoe Erickson 2022.


Childhood sexual abuse is a recurring problem which negatively affects thousands of children and adolescents every year. This is a traumatic event which can cause distress for individuals post sexual abuse well into adulthood. Because of this, it is important for practitioners to understand what symptoms could be present post abuse, as well as factors that may impact the presence and severity of these symptoms. Using data from the Project SAFE group treatment program including 126 adolescents aged 12-19, this study aims to further examine how factors such as gender of the individual will affect their symptoms post sexual abuse. Specifically, this study will examine how gender is related to scores on the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), Children’s Impact of Traumatic Events Scale (CITES), and The Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (R-CMAS). Analyses of these data indicated that adolescent girls scored significantly higher on the CDI and CITES PTSD subscale, and there was no observed difference between genders for the R-CMAS scores. These findings highlight that adolescent girls and boys experience symptoms differently post sexual abuse.