Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 1999


Published in Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 7, no.4 (1999), pp. 59-76. Copyright 1999 by The Haworth Press, Inc. Used by permission.


A sample of 51 college women retrospectively reporting a history of childhood sexual abuse and 91 women failing to report such a history was examined in order to investigate the relationship between victimization history and survivors' self-reports of functioning in adult intimate relationships. Specifically, relationship satisfaction, communication, and trust were examined in heterosexual relationships of at least six months' duration. As hypothesized, even when demographic differences between groups were controlled, survivors reported significantly less relationship satisfaction, poorer communication, and lower levels of trust in their partners than did women with no history of sexual abuse. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to clinical applications and future research.