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    Prevalence and predictors of Axis I disorders in a large sample of treatment-seeking victims of sexual abuse and incest

    McElroy, Eoin and Shevlin, Mark and Elklit, Ask and Hyland, Philip and Murphy, Siobhan and Murphy, Jamie (2016) Prevalence and predictors of Axis I disorders in a large sample of treatment-seeking victims of sexual abuse and incest. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7 (1). p. 30686. ISSN 2000-8066

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    Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a common occurrence and a robust, yet non-specific, predictor of adult psychopathology. While many demographic and abuse factors have been shown to impact this relationship, their common and specific effects remain poorly understood. Objective: This study sought to assess the prevalence of Axis I disorders in a large sample of help-seeking victims of sexual trauma, and to examine the common and specific effects of demographic and abuse characteristics across these different diagnoses. Method: The participants were attendees at four treatment centres in Denmark that provide psychological therapy for victims of CSA (N=434). Axis I disorders were assessed using the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the associations between CSA characteristics (age of onset, duration, number of abusers, number of abusive acts) and 10 adult clinical syndromes. Results: There was significant variation in the prevalence of disorders and the abuse characteristics were differentially associated with the outcome variables. Having experienced sexual abuse from more than one perpetrator was the strongest predictor of psychopathology. Conclusions: The relationship between CSA and adult psychopathology is complex. Abuse characteristics have both unique and shared effects across different diagnoses.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©2016 Eoin McElroy et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. Cite as: Eoin McElroy, Mark Shevlin, Ask Elklit, Philip Hyland, Siobhan Murphy & Jamie Murphy (2016) Prevalence and predictors of Axis I disorders in a large sample of treatment-seeking victims of sexual abuse and incest, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7:1, 30686, DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v7.30686
    Keywords: Childhood sexual abuse; Axis I disorders; help-seeking sample; sexual trauma; incest; multivariate analysis; multiple perpetrators; adult psychopathology;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 12643
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Philip Hyland
    Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2020 17:32
    Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Psychotraumatology
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis Open
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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