Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the academic performance of sexually abused children Bonanno, Rina A. 1993

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1993_fall_bonanno_rina.pdf [ 3.75MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0086337.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0086337-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0086337-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0086337-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0086337-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0086337-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0086337-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0086337-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0086337.ris

Full Text

A STUDY OF THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OFSEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDRENbyRINA A. BONANNOB.A., University of British Columbia, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Mathematics and Science EducationWe accept this thesis as conformingTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOctober, 1993© Rina Angela Bonanno, 1993(Signature)In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of A--Z/4 The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate^—DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTStudies of the impact of abuse on children's cognitive andschool performance have focused largely on maltreated andneglected children. In this study the academic performance of15 sexually abused children was compared to the academicperformance of 15 non-abused children that were matched ongender and grade. The permanent record cards of all thechildren involved were analyzed using descriptive statistics.T-test revealed that the sexually abused children performedsignificantly poorer than the non-abused children. Resultsindicating that the sexually abused group did not appear todiffer academically prior to the abuse suggest that thedifferences between the two groups may be, in part, due to thesexual abuse. Variables surrounding the sexual abuse did notappear to affect academic performance, nor did gender play asignificant role in academic performance.iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract ^Table of Contents ^List of Tables  viAcknowledgements ^  viiChapter One^Statement of the Problem ^ 1Rationale and Purpose of Study ^ 1Theoretical Basis of Study  4Organization of Document ^ 4Research Questions ^  4Definition of Terms  6Chapter Two^Literature Review ^  9Child Sexual Abuse  9History ^  9Prevalence studies ^ 10Effects of Child Sexual Abuse ^ 13Initial Effects ^  14Long-Term Effects  15Mitigating Variables ^ 17Why Might Sexual Abuse Affect AcademicPerformance? ^  19Trauma  20Dissociation ^  21ivEffects^on^School^Adjustment^andAcademic Performance  24Conclusion:^The Effects of Child SexualAbuse  27Chapter Three Methodology ^  29Overview  29Introduction ^  29Data Source  30Subjects ^  30Recruitment  30Data Collection ^  32Descriptive Variables and Backgroundinformation ^  33Permanent Record Cards ^ 34Data Analysis ^  36Chapter Four Results ^  38Overview of the Results ^  38Comparing^Sexually^Abused^andNon-Abused Children  39Comparisons Made Within the SexuallyAbused Group ^  53Gender Differences ^  56Chapter Five Discussion and Conclusions ^ 62Comparing^Sexually^Abused^andNon-Abused Children  62Comparisons Made Within the SexuallyAbused Group ^  64Gender Differences ^  65Summary of Findings  65Limitations of the Current Research . . ^ 66Directions for Future Research ^ 67References ^  69Appendix A^Clinic's Consent ^  78Appendix B^Parental Letter of Consent ^ 79Appendix C^School District B's Consent  80Appendix D^Letter to Principals ^  81Appendix E^Authorization to Release Transcripts . . ^ 82List of TablesviTable 4-1Table 4-2Table 4-3Table 4-4Table 4-5Table 4-6Table 4-7Table 4-8Table 4-9Differences Between Sexually Abused and Non-Abused Children   41Differences Between Sexually Abused Childrenand Non-Abused Children (Days Absent) . . 45Differences Between Sexually Abused Males andNon-Abused Males   47Differences Between Sexually Abused Males andNon-Abused Males (Days Absent)   48Differences Between Sexually Abused Femalesand Non-Abused Females   50Differences Between Sexually Abused Femalesand Non-Abused Females (Days Absent) . . . 52Descriptive Variables and BackgroundWithin^Non-Abused^Group/Between Males and Females . . 57Within^Non-Abused^Group/Between Males and Females (DaysInformationComparisonsDifferencesComparisonsDifferences55Absent) ^  58Table 4-10^^Comparisons Within Sexually Abused Group/Differences Between Males and Females . . 60Table 4-11^Comparisons Within Sexually Abused Group/Differences Between Males and Females(Days Absent) ^  61viiAcknowledgementsI would like to extend my sincere gratitude andappreciation to my advisor, Dr. Kip Anastasiou, whoseconsiderable support, encouragement, and patience helpedmake this research study possible.I am also grateful to Dr. Marion Porath for herthoughtful support and encouragement. Her enthusiasm andconstructive criticisms were invaluable.I would also like to thank Mr. Frank Feng for hisinsight and statistical expertise.I am also grateful to my dear friend and partner inprayer, Mr. Jano Larocque, who has been a constant source ofsupport.My heartfelt gratitude goes to Ms. Renee Fountain whohas been a sister to me.In particular I would like to acknowledge my lovingparents, Maria and Eugenio Bonanno, whose constant faith,encouragement and support have made my education possible.I would also like to thank all my family and friends fortheir never ending love, support, and patience.Finally I would like to thank all the children,parents, counsellors and principals whose involvement madethis study possible.1CHAPTER 1Statement of the ProblemOne in four girls and one in six boys will experiencesome form of sexual abuse by the time they reach eighteen(Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis & Smith, 1990). Of thesechildren between 50% (Johnston, 1979) and 85% (Elwell &Ephross, 1987) will experience behavioral and academicproblems at school. The effects of sexual abuse onchildren's academic performance may constitute the singlelargest learning barrier/disability facing our schoolstoday, yet researchers have virtually ignored investigatingthe impact of child sexual abuse on academic performance.Rationale and Purpose of StudyThe majority of research investigating the detrimentaleffects of abuse on children's cognitive and schoolperformance has not investigated the impact of sexual abuseon the cognitive aspects of development. The current focushas been on other forms of abuse, such as physicalmaltreatment, psychological maltreatment and neglect, andtheir effects on the cognitive realm.Hoffman-Plotkin and Twentyman (1984) compared 42children in three groups (abused, neglected, and matchedcomparison) on three measures of cognitive functioning(Stanford-Binet, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, andMerrill-Palmer Scale of Mental Tests). The resultsdemonstrated that abused and neglected children had lower2scores on all the measures of cognitive functioning whencompared to the matched comparison children. Wodarski,Kurtz, Gaudin, and Howing (1990) carried out a comprehensivestudy investigating the academic, socioemotional, andadaptive outcomes of maltreated children. Data wereobtained from five sources: parents, teachers, children,school records, and case workers. Results indicated thatthe abused children displayed pervasive and severe academicand socioemotional problems. Morgan (1979) found that 87%of the emotionally disturbed children (all of whom wereidentified as physically abused) in her study were describedas bright but not working to capacity.The results from the above studies definitivelydemonstrate that these types of maltreatment impactnegatively on children's cognitive and academic abilities,thus warranting further research that focuses on the impactof child sexual abuse on academic performance.Many researchers have noted the academic and school-related problems experienced by sexually abused children(Anderson, Bach & Griffith, 1981; Elwell & Ephross, 1987;Friedrich & Luecke, 1988); however, these results wereusually secondary findings that were not necessarilyanticipated and thus not thoroughly investigated. Of thestudies citing school-related problems, many were plaguedwith methodological problems such as lack of control groups(Adams-Tucker, 1982; Lindberg & Distad, 1985; Mrazek, 1981)and lack of objective measures of school competence and3academic performance (Einbender & Friedrich, 1989; Hibbard &Hartman, 1992). Such research produces results that aresuggestive, but not conclusive.Due to the lack of descriptive and comparative researchon the relationship between child sexual abuse and academicperformance, the present study was designed to compare andcontrast the school achievement of children who have beensexually abused with children who have not been sexuallyabused. The research design employed was a causal-comparative study. Subjects for this study were recruitedfrom various communities in the Okanagan Valley. PermanentRecord Cards of the sexually abused and the matchedcomparison group were analyzed in order to determine if anydifferences exist. The results from this study will informthe consideration of special educational programs forsexually abused children.Current research investigating the effects of sexualabuse suggests that not all children are affected in thesame way. Variables related to the abuse, such as age ofonset of abuse (Finkelhor, 1981), gender of the perpetrator(Russell, 1986), relationship of perpetrator (Adams-Tucker,1982), and sexual activity (Briere & Runtz, 1986) have beenshown to affect the impact/severity of initial and long-termeffects of child sexual abuse. The present study will thusalso investigate whether variables surrounding the sexualabuse of these children affect school achievement. In orderto achieve this, a within group analysis will be conducted4on the sexually abused children.Theoretical Basis of StudyThe rationale for this study is linked to ahypothesized relationship between sexual abuse and trauma,and the effects that trauma has on memory. Despite the factthat this relationship (as it pertains to academicperformance) has not been clinically or empirically tested,or acknowledged in the literature, the researcher willsynthesize the work of researchers such as Case (1992),Putman (1991), and Janet (1889) to demonstrate why sexualabuse may impact on children's academic performance.Organization of DocumentThis thesis is organized into five chapters. ChapterTwo provides a review of the literature, discusses thedynamics of the effects of child sexual abuse, and providesinsight on why sexual abuse might affect a child's academicperformance. Chapter Three describes the procedures used inthe study. Chapter Four documents the data analysis and theresults obtained from the study. Chapter Five reviews theresults with respect to the literature reviewed, anddiscusses the limitations of the present study along withdirections for future research.Research QuestionsThe research objectives for the present study are basedon the following research questions. The research questionsare divided into three sections. The first section will5propose questions that will ascertain differences betweenchildren who have been sexually abused and those who havenot been abused, the second section will propose questionsthat are geared to distinguish differences that exist withinthe sexually abused group, and the third section willpropose questions related to gender differences.Comparing Sexually Abused and Non-Sexually Abused Children1) Does the academic performance of sexually abusedchildren differ from that of children who have not beensexually abused?This study compares the academic performance of these twogroups of children across sexes and between sexes.2) Do sexually abused children and non-abused childrendiffer with respect to days absent?Once again comparisons are made across and between sexes.Comparisons Made Within The Sexually Abused Group3) Do variables such as level of parental supportiveness,type of abuse (fondling vs. intercourse), and kind ofabuse (intrafamilial vs. extrafamilial) make adifference with respect to academic performance?Gender Differences 4) Does the academic performance of non-abused malesdiffer from that of non-abused females?5)^Does the academic performance of sexually abused malesdiffer from that of sexually abused females?6Definition of TermsFor purposes of clarity and ease of reading most of theterms defined in this section will also be defined the firsttime the term is used in this text.Core Courses: Consist of Language Arts, Math, Science andSocial Studies.Days Absent: The number of days a child is away fromschool during a particular school year. Theschools involved in this study did notdistinguish between days absent with parentalconsent and days absent without parentalconsent (truancy).Dissociation: The psychophysiological process that alters aperson's thoughts, feelings or actions sothat for a period of time certain informationis not associated or integrated with otherinformation as is normally or logically is(West, 1967).Extrafamilial Abuse:Sexual Abuse that occurs between persons thatare not related.Initial Effects:The effects of sexual abuse which aremanifested in childhood within a few years ofthe onset of abuse (Browne &Finkelhor,1986b).7Intrafamilial Abuse:Sexual abuse that occurs between persons thatare related. If the relationship is withinthe immediate family the abuse is sometimesreferred to as incest.Long-Term Effects:The effects of sexual abuse that occur afteror lasting beyond two years from thetermination of the abuse (Browne & Finkelhor,1986b).Non-Core Courses:Consist of Physical Education (P.E.), Art,and Music.Permanent Record Cards:A dossier of a student's grades that spansthe student's academic career fromkindergarten through grade seven.Sexual Abuse: Any sexual exploitation of a child whetherconsensual or not. It includes touching of asexual nature and sexual intercourse, and mayinclude any behaviour of a sexual naturetoward a child. In determining whetherbehaviour is of a sexual nature, one shouldask whether a reasonable observer, looking atthe behaviour in its context, would concludethat it is sexual. This would exclude normalaffectionate behaviour towards children andTrauma:8normal health or hygiene care. Sexualactivity between children may constitutesexual abuse if the difference in age orpower between the children is so significantthat the older or more powerful child isclearly taking sexual advantage of theyounger or less powerful child. This wouldexclude consensual, developmentallyappropriate sexual activity between childrenwhere there is no significant differencebetween the children. (Province of BritishColumbia, 1988, p.10)Psychological shock, especially one having alasting effect on the personality (fromChurchill's Medical Dictionary, 1989,p. 1979).9CHAPTER 2LITERATURE REVIEWThe goal of this study is to examine the relationshipbetween sexual abuse and children's academic performance.To understand the dynamics surrounding the effects of childsexual abuse, it is important to have some knowledge of itshistory, incidence, effects, and, more specifically,knowledge of how such trauma might impact on children'sacademic performance.Child Sexual AbuseChild sexual abuse is a pervasive societal disease thatknows no international boundaries and does not discriminatewith respect to the age, race, intelligence, or socio-economic status of its victims or its perpetrators.Traditionally, perpetrators were thought to be "dirty oldmen" and children were warned to stay away from strangers.These myths have been dispelled by research indicating thatbetween 30% and 50% of child molestations are perpetrated byadolescent offenders (Deisher, Wenet, Paperney, Clark &Fehrenbach, 1982), and by evidence indicating that themajority of victims know their assailants (Bagley, 1989).HistoryHistorically, child sexual abuse was denied andattributed to childhood sexual fantasy. The possibility ofchild sexual abuse existing in our society was considered sodistasteful that it could not possibly be true. Literature10suggesting reasons why little girls might lie about sexualabuse existed as early as 1883 when Brouardel wrote thearticle "The Causes of Error in Expert Opinion with Respectto Sexual Assault." Despite Tardieu's (1857) book, AMedical Legal Study of Assault on Decency, which empiricallydiscussed the frequency of sexual assaults on children, itwas not until Kempe's (1978) work that the sexual abuse ofchildren became widely recognized by the medical profession.With this recognition came a surge of reporting andestimates of incidence.Unfortunately, incidence estimates are hard todetermine. Because sexual abuse is stigmatized and oftensecretive behaviour, incidence is likely underestimated.Meiselman (1978) estimates that, for every case reported,there are at least three cases never reported. Tsai andWagner (1978) estimate that the "hidden incidence" of sexualabuse is five to ten times the reported incidence. Due tothe problems that surround incidence reporting,retrospective studies of adult populations are more likelyto be representative of true incidence. However, it isimportant to note that retrospective studies may notaccurately reflect the incidence of sexual abuse in thecurrent generation of children.Prevalence Studies Prevalence is taken to mean the distribution ofvictimization within the general population over a definedperiod (Kercher & McShane, 1984). One of the most11comprehensive retrospective studies of general populationswas undertaken in Canada.On December 19, 1980 the government of Canada announcedthe establishment of the Committee on Sexual OffensesAgainst Children and Youths (The Badgley Commission). Thecharge given the Committee was "to inquire into theincidence and prevalence in Canada of sexual offensesagainst children and youths and to recommend improvements inlaws for the protection of young persons from sexualexploitation" (p. 3 ). The Committee was instructed toobtain "comprehensive and factual information" about theissues. One of the research studies undertaken by theCommittee was the National Population Survey whichinterviewed a representative sample of Canadians living inall regions.The Badgley Report (Government of Canada, 1984)concluded that every child in Canada is at risk of beingsexually assaulted. The report estimated that in Canada,50% of all women and 30% of all men, as children, werevictims of an unwanted sexual act. The report has beencriticized for over-estimating the incidence of abuse(Bagley, 1989). However, the findings of the BadgleyCommission were reinforced by verbal consultations andwritten reports from close to a thousand people from acrossCanada working in the field of child sexual abuse. Thesereports were made available to Rix Rogers, the SpecialAdvisor to the Minister of National Health and Welfare on12Sexual Abuse (Rogers, 1988).Finkelhor et al. (1990) conducted a national telephonesurvey of 2,626 American men and women throughout the UnitedStates. Results indicated that 27% of women and 16% of menwere victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Wyatt(1985) examined the prevalence of child sexual abuse inwomen of Afro and White ethnic origin in Los Angeles County.Wyatt found that 62% of the women reported at least oneincident of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Baker andDuncan (1985) conducted the first national prevalence studyof child sexual abuse in Britain. Results indicated that12% of females and 8% of males reported they had beensexually abused before the age of 16. Note that despite allof the above studies being retrospective, the resultantfigures are still susceptible to underestimation due tovictims' repression or depersonalization (Bagley, 1985), orthe development of alternative personalities (Fraser, 1987).Definitional problems are also partly responsible forthe inaccuracy of incidence reports. Besharov (1981) foundthat, in general, definitions used in child abuse researchcause many problems in interpretation and synthesis offindings because:(1) They lack comparability; there are literallythousands of definitions of child abuse in use.(2) They are imprecise, causing problems withmeasurement reliability.(3) They lack taxonomic delineation; there are13many types of child abuse and studies tend to"lump" them all together without allowing for orstudying differences on this dimension. (Quoted inLusk, 1988, pp. 9-10)For the purpose of this study a politically recognizeddefinition of child sexual abuse will be utilized.The Province of British Columbia defines sexual abuse asany sexual exploitation of a child whether consensual ornot. It includes touching of a sexual nature and sexualintercourse, and may include any behaviour of a sexualnature toward a child. In determining whether behaviouris of a sexual nature, one should ask whether areasonable observer, looking at the behaviour in itscontext, would conclude that it is sexual. This wouldexclude normal affectionate behaviour towards childrenand normal health or hygiene care. Sexual activitybetween children may constitute sexual abuse if thedifference in age or power between the children is sosignificant that the older or more powerful child isclearly taking sexual advantage of the younger or lesspowerful child. This would exclude consensual,developmentally appropriate sexual activity betweenchildren where there is no significant difference betweenthe children. (Province of British Columbia, 1988, p.10)Effects of Child Sexual AbuseA Word of CautionPrior to discussing the specific effects of childsexual abuse it is important to note that the existence oflong-term effects is not an indication of severity of harm.This is best illustrated by Browne and Finkelhor (1986a):Effects seem to be considered less "serious" if theirimpact is transient and disappears in the course ofdevelopment. However, this tendency to assess everythingin terms of its long-term effect betrays an14"adultocentric" bias. Adult traumas such as rape are notassessed ultimately in terms of whether they will have animpact on old age. They are acknowledged to be painfuland alarming events, whether their impact lasts 1 year or10. Similarly, childhood traumas should not be dismissedbecause no long-term effects can be demonstrated. Childsexual abuse needs to be recognized as a serious problemof childhood, if only for the immediate pain, confusionand upset that can ensue. (P.178)It is also important to note when considering theeffects of child sexual abuse that one must not onlyconsider the effects that can be seen as direct impacts ofthe abuse (e.g. anxiety and low self-esteem), we must alsoacknowledge their manifestations (e.g. sleep disorders orschool problems) and the resultant unsuccessful ordysfunctional attempts to cope or escape (e.g. delinquencyor drug abuse) as effects (Wachtel, 1988). How the effectsof child sexual abuse are interpreted is of great concern.If the effects of child sexual abuse are shown to be minor,transitory, or occurring in only a few, then the need torespond to the social problem is correspondingly small(Wachte1,1988).Initial Effects Initial effects, also known as short-term effects, arethose which are manifested in childhood within a few yearsof the onset of abuse (Finkelhor & Brown, 1986a). Initialeffects include depression (Conte & Schuerman, 1987b;Gomes-Schwartz, Horowitz & Sauzier, 1985; Mannarino & Cohen,1987), low self-esteem (Cavaiola & Schiff, 1989; Morrow &Sorell, 1989; Oates, Forrest & Peacock, 1985; Stiffman,1989; Tong, Oates & McDowell 1987; Vander Mey, 1988), sleep15disturbances (Adams-Tucker, 1982; Conte & Schuerman, 1987b;Elwell & Ephross, 1987), school problems (Adams-Tucker,1982; Conte & Schuerman, 1987b; Elwell & Ephross, 1987),sexual acting out (Friedrich & Luecke, 1988; Mian,Wehrspann, Klajner-Diamond, LeBaron & Winder, 1986), andsuicidal ideation (Adams-Tucker, 1982, Lindberg & Distad,1985).In studying the initial effects of sexual abuseresearchers must also keep in mind that some of the effectsof the molestation may be delayed. Sequelae of child sexualabuse are moving targets; effects may be delayed or mayassume different forms as a person matures (Browne &Finkelhor, 1986a). Other effects of sexual abuse appear tobe age specific, for example, guilt is believed to have anadverse effect on victims of sexual abuse as they mature(Conte & Schuerman, 1987a) and is not characteristic ofpreschoolers (Lusk & Waterman, 1986). Friedrich, Urquiza,and Beilke (1986) found that preschoolers who have beensexually abused are more likely to demonstrate internalizingor neurotic type of behaviour, whereas older children aremore likely to demonstrate externalizing symptoms.Long-term Effects Browne and Finkelhor (1986b) define "long- term"effects as being those occurring after or lasting beyondtwo years from the termination of the abuse. Long-termeffects are not necessarily ones that have persisted since16the abuse itself but can also become manifest at any pointsubsequent, perhaps in response to a new developmental task.The most commonly reported long-term symptom is depression(Browne & Finkelhor, 1986b). Another common effect observedin studies of adults sexually abused as children is sexualdysfunction including sexual dissatisfaction (Briere, 1984;Gold, 1986), promiscuity (Brunngraber, 1986; Tsai, Feldman-Summers & Edgar, 1979), and homosexuality among both females(Brunngraber, 1986; Fromuth, 1986; Runtz & Briere, 1986) andmales (Finkelhor, 1979; Johnson & Shrier, 1985).Further research has shown that adult victims ofchildhood sexual abuse suffer more emotional problems suchas fear, nervousness, and anxiety than women with no historyof sexual abuse (Brunngraber, 1986; Fromuth, 1986).Empirical studies with adults confirm many of thelong-term effects of sexual abuse mentioned in theclinical literature. Adult women victimized aschildren are more likely to manifest depression,self-destructive behaviour, anxiety, feeling ofisolation and stigma, poor self-esteem, a tendencytowards revictimization, and substance abuse.Difficulty in trusting others and sexualmaladjustment... have also been reported....(Browne & Finkelhor, 1986a, p.162)The above are some of the best documented effects ofsexual abuse; however the literature on sexual abusesupplies an extensive and varied list of effects that rangefrom suicide attempts (Bagley & Young, 1988) to compulsiveshopping (Winestine, 1985).17Mitigating Variables Not all children who are sexually abused will betraumatized and have long-lasting effects. Variables thathave been shown to be negatively associated with adultfunctioning following child sexual abuse are listed below.Many studies have investigated variables that affect theimpact of sexual abuse, and conflicting results have made itdifficult to be conclusive about the direction and impact ofany of the variables. Nonetheless, it is important topresent the results of some of the more compelling studies.Age at onset of abuse. Goodwin, McCarthy, and Divasto(1981) reported that incest occurring prior to the age of 13years was associated with greater harm. Finkelhor (1981)found that the older the child was at the time of the sexualexperience the less negative the impact.Age and gender of offender. The older the perpetratoris, the greater the trauma for the victim. The victim'strauma is also greater when the perpetrator is male(Finkelhor, 1979; Fromuth, 1983; Russell, 1986).Level of aggression in offenses. Finkelhor (1979),Fromuth (1983), and Russell (1986) found that offender useof force, aggression, and violence is associated withincreased trauma response in the child. It is interestingto note that non-stranger assaults were significantly moreviolent and less often reported than stranger assaults(DeJong, Hervada, & Emmett, 1983).18Sexual activity. Briere and Runtz (1986) ascertainedthat child sexual abuse involving penetration is associatedwith greater harm. Goodwin, Cheeves, and Connell (1987)found that adult victims of severe sexual abuse (abuseinvolving penetration, i.e. oral, anal, and/or vaginal)experience severe effects.Parental supportiveness. Children whose parents wereunsupportive (expressing denial or rejection) followingdisclosure had more severe effects (Macfarlane, 1978) andwere more likely to be hospitalized (Adams-Tucker, 1982)than children whose parents were supportive. Fromuth (1986)also found parental supportiveness, rather than sexualabuse, to be a major factor in long-term adjustment.Relationship of perpetrator. Greater trauma isexperienced when the perpetrator is the biological father orstepfather (Adams-Tucker, 1982; Finkelhor, 1979; Peters,1976; Russel, 1986). When compared to extrafamilial sexualabuse, intrafamilial abuse was found to be more harmful(Anderson et al., 1981; Finkelhor, 1979; Nash & West, 1985;Runtz, 1987; Sedney & Brooks, 1984). Interestingly, Johnston(1979) found no differences between children sexually abusedby family members and those sexually abused by non-familymembers. This finding suggests that biological betrayal maynot be the key to greater harm. Gagnon (1987) found thatthe child's closeness to the perpetrator and sense ofbetrayal (both rated retrospectively) resulting from thesexual abuse were better predictors of greater harm.19Gender of victim. Because child sexual abuse wascommonly thought to affect mostly females, much researchincluded only a small proportion of males, thus making itimpossible to accurately test for gender differences.However, those research findings which do include malessuggest that the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuseof males and females differ. Males tend to be younger thanfemales when victimized (Pierce & Pierce, 1985) and are morelikely to experience physical abuse as well (Finkelhor,1984). Males are also more likely to be victimized by astranger (58%), while females are more often abused by arelative or acquaintance (78%) (Tong et al., 1987). Malesare also less likely than females to report the abuse(Cavanagh-Johnson, 1989).Why Might Sexual Abuse Affect Academic Performance?Prior to reviewing the literature regarding the impactof child sexual abuse on academic performance, a brieftheoretical discussion of how and why sexual abuse mightaffect academic performance is provided. This discussion isan investigation of the relationship between sexual abuseand trauma, and the effects that trauma has on memory. Theconnection presented here has not been directly acknowledgedor recognized, and despite the existence of models of sexualabuse that assume some notion of memory (Finkelhor & Browne,1986; Hartman & Burgess 1993; Summit, 1983), none haveclinically or empirically tested the proposed connectionbetween the trauma of sexual abuse and how it affects memory20and, in turn, academic performance.How does/can the physical experience of sexual abuseimpact on the cognitive functioning of these children? Toanswer this question one must consider the imperatives tocognitive functioning. Case (1992) holds that, among thefactors that play an important role in determining the upperbound of children's intellectual and emotional functioning,are the size of their working memory and/or the speed of thebasic operations they can execute within this memory. It ispossible that the academic difficulties experienced bysexually abused children are due, in part, to the effectsthat trauma has on the memory functioning of these children.Trauma Terr (1991) argues that childhood trauma is the mentalresult of one sudden, external blow or a series of blows,rendering the young person temporarily helpless, andbreaking past ordinary coping and defensive operations.Long-standing or repeated exposure to extreme externalevents creates a sense of sickening anticipation, like thatexperienced by sexually abused children. According to Terr,all traumas originate from the outside; none are generatedsolely within the child's own mind.The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic andStatistical Manual (1987) lists the severity of child sexualabuse as a psychosocial stressor as extreme; thus thedesignation of child sexual abuse as a cause of trauma.Research also exists which suggests how the symptoms of21sexual abuse (forgetfulness, inability to concentrate,disrupted sleep, anxiety, and depression) correspond to thediagnostic criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder(Armsworth, 1984; Britcher, 1986; Goodwin et al., 1987; Hyde& Kaufman, 1984; Lindberg & Distad, 1985).Survival behaviours manifested by child victims duringsexual abuse include complying, negotiating, fighting,amnesia, crying, freezing in terror, and actively pretendingto be somewhere or someone else ( via dissociation).Dissociation If the trauma of sexual abuse becomes overwhelming, thechild may use dissociation as a means of coping (Courtois,1992; Terr, 1991). Dissociation is a psychophysiologicalprocess that alters a person's thoughts, feelings, oractions, so that for a period of time certain information isnot associated or integrated with other information as itnormally or logically is (West, 1967). This discrete stateof consciousness serves as a marker that acts to encodeinformation in a way that interferes with its retrieval andintegration into the normal stream of consciousness. Byinterfering with the normal storage, retrieval, andintegration of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories,dissociation protects the individual from many aspects ofthe traumatic experience.Transient dissociative episodes are a common andnormative phenomenon during childhood that generallydecrease during adolescence to relatively low levels in22adults (Putman, 1993). However, the presence of trauma mayinterfere with the normal age-related decline indissociative capacity, resulting in an enhanced capacityand/or propensity to dissociate in adults abused as children(Putman, 1991).Pathological dissociation occurs when the frequencyand/or duration of dissociative episodes producessignificant disturbances in the continuity of anindividual's memory and integration of self. Pathologicaldissociation is recurrently activated by stress, trauma, orby stimuli reminiscent of the trauma (Putman, 1993; van derKolk, 1987).How do trauma and dissociation relate to children's cognitive functioning? Let us consider some of the symptomsof pathological dissociation, keeping in mind the role thata child's working memory plays in their cognitivefunctioning. Pathological dissociation is a complexpsychobiological process that results in a failure tointegrate information into the normal stream ofconsciousness, which in turn produces a range of symptomsand behaviours including (a) amnesia, (b) disturbances inthe sense of self, (c) trance-like states, (d) rapid shiftsin mood and behaviour, (e) perplexing shifts in access toknowledge, memory and skills, (f) auditory and visualhallucinations, and (g) vivid imaginary companionship inchildren and adolescents (Putman, 1993). It is particularlyinteresting to note that many of these symptoms and23behaviours are misdiagnosed as attention, learning, orconduct problems and even as psychoses (Hartman & Burgess,1993).Why is the child not able to process the traumatic event? Successful integration into the memory systemdepends on the cognitive assessment of new experiences.Frightening or novel experiences may not fit into existingcognitive schemes; traumatic events are thus split off fromordinary consciousness (Janet, 1889).Why/how does this failure to integrate informationnormally affect memory? Horowitz (1976) suggested thattraumatic information is kept in active awareness/memoryuntil it can be processed and stored in distant memory.Given that a child has a limited working memory capacity(which varies with development),it seems plausible that ifpart of that memory space is being taken up by the traumaexperience, there is less memory space available to processinformation being presented at school. These children may,thus, be functioning at a lower academic level than theirnon-traumatized peers.What happens to information that children are exposedto while in a state of dissociation? Research on learningand memory disturbances in dissociative disorder patientsshow that, in general, dissociative amnesia and other memoryproblems exhibit the basic properties of state-dependentlearning and memory retrieval (Nissen, Ross, Willingham,Mackenzie & Schacter, 1988; Putman, 1988; Schacter,24Kihlstrom, Kihlstrom & Berren, 1989; Silberman, Putman,Weingartner, Braun & Post, 1985). Thus, while in adissociative state the child may not be able to retrieve andutilize information learned while in a non-dissociativestate. Memories are reactivated when a person is exposed toa situation, or somatic state, reminiscent of the onepresent when the original memory was stored (van der Kolk,1989). In school or other situations demanding continuityof attention, these trance-like episodes can lead to missedinformation and confusion on the part of the child.The proposed links between these research findingssuggest a theoretical structure for a connection betweenchild sexual abuse and poor academic performance. Thefollowing section reviews the literature that directlyaddresses the effects of child sexual abuse on cognitive andacademic functioning.Effects on School Adjustment and Academic PerformanceDespite research suggesting that between 50% (Johnston,1979) and 85% (Elwell & Ephross, 1987) of sexually abusedchildren will experience behavioral and academic problems atschool, researchers have virtually ignored directlyinvestigating the impact of child sexual abuse on academicperformance. While many researchers have noted the schooland school-adjustment problems experienced by sexuallyabused children ( Anderson et al., 1981; Elwell & Ephross,1987; Friedrich & Luecke, 1988), these results are usuallysecondary findings that were not necessarily anticipated and25thus not thoroughly investigated.Many of the studies reporting "school problems" haveutilized subjective measures that ask global questions suchas "Does your child or has your child experienced 'academicproblems'?" (Conte & Schuerman, 1987a) or "Does your childexhibit 'poor school work'?" (Hibbard & Hartman, 1992). Thesubjective nature of these measures makes it difficult toascertain whether these perceived school-related problemsactually exist. If the problems do exist, the measurements'diagnostic vagueness makes it difficult to prescribe anappropriate educational course of action (i.e. behaviorallybased or remedially based).Other studies that have reported specific schoolproblems such as learning problems, attention andconcentration problems, or placement in learning disabledclasses (Gomes-Schwartz et al., 1985; Friedrich and Luecke,1988; Lindberg & Distad, 1985) have not utilized comparisongroups, making it difficult to determine whether theproportion of "school problems" exhibited by sexually abusedchildren significantly differ from those exhibited by non-abused children.Very few studies reporting specific school problemshave utilized comparison groups. An exception is Tong etal. (1987), which compared 49 sexually abused school-agedchildren to a control group from the same school or schoolarea matched for age, sex, socioeconomic status, andethnicity on several measures (Structured Interview, The26Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, The Child BehaviourChecklist). The results (only school related results willbe discussed here) indicated that sexually abused childrenwere rated by their teachers as performing significantlyless well in their school work. They had deteriorated intheir school work and had been truant more than the controlgroup. Friedrich, Beilke & Urquiza (1987) also found thatsexually abused children scored lower on school competencethan the control group. Runtz and Briere (1986) found thatsexually abused college students reported (self report) thatthey were more likely to skip classes and do poorly inschool.Although the above studies included control groups, themeasures used were very subjective in that they werecompleted by either the parent, school teacher, or victim.As implied, subjective measures lack objectivity and thusthe significance and external validity of such results arequestionable.Other studies have incorporated projective measuressuch as the Rorschach Test, and aptitude measures such asthe Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised (Einbender &Friedrich, 1989) as well as subjective measures (Lusk,1988). The problem with utilizing only projective,aptitude, and/or subjective measures to investigate theimpact of sexual abuse on academic performance is that thesemeasures tend to speculate how and in what way thesechildren will be affected. These measures cannot attest to27how these children's academic performance is actuallyaffected. Academic records, on the other hand canfactually demonstrate how academic performance is affected.Of the literature reviewed, only one study includedcomparison groups and utilized school records as well asprojective measures of intellectual ability. Dodge-Reyome(1988) compared sexually abused children, neglectedchildren, public assistance children, lower class children,and matched controls on four measures of school achievementand intellectual ability. Dodge-Reyome found that sexuallyabused children were significantly more likely to be placedin special classes, and scored lower than the control groupin regard to final grades for both math and spelling.Although the sexually abused children in this study appearto differ from the control group on the mentioned measures,a closer look at Dodge-Reyome's analysis reveal that shefailed to take into consideration the academic performanceof the sexually abused group prior to the sexual abuse todetermine if the sexual abuse actually affected academicperformance or if the sexually abused children had alwaysperformed more poorly academically.Conclusion: The Effects of Child Sexual AbuseDespite differing results due to definitional andmethodological problems that make it difficult to drawconclusions across studies, the majority of studies on childsexual abuse conclude that its effects are harmful (Browne &Finkelhor, 1986b; Government of Canada, 1984).28Effects can be short-term or long-term and they can changeover time with development. The key to understanding theeffects of child sexual abuse is to remember that they aremultidimensional. The impact of sexual abuse on anindividual child is dependent on variables that range fromage at onset to parental supportiveness.Of all the effects that sexual abuse has on children,the least investigated has been the impact on children'sacademic performance. Given the strong relationship betweensuccessful adult adjustment and school success in ourculture (Brassard & Gelardo, 1987) and the huge proportionof children that might be sexually abused (Government ofCanada, 1984) and be at risk for academic failure,systematic research on how sexual abuse impacts on academicperformance is desperately needed.29CHAPTER 3METHODOLOGYOverviewThe goal of the present research study was toinvestigate the impact of sexual abuse on academicperformance. This chapter discusses the site where the datawere collected for this study, the methods used to identifyand sample the sexually abused and non-abused children, howacademic performance was measured, and the procedures thatwere followed in collecting and processing this information.IntroductionProposing to do research on the academic performance ofsexually abused children prompted a great deal of concern onthe part of teachers and administrators. The majority of theconcern raised surrounded protecting these children fromunnecessary prodding that may make them feel singled out.Other concerns surrounded issues of confidentiality, and theethical and legal aspects of inadvertently identifying (inthe schools) these children as having been sexually abused.In order to alleviate some of the concerns raised, theresearcher decided to utilize already existing and up todate measures of academic performance. Children's PermanentRecord Cards were utilized. Direct contact with thesexually abused and comparison group subjects was thus notnecessary. The research design employed was a causal-comparative study.30Data SourceThe data for this study were collected from variouscommunities in the Okanagan Valley. The study dependedheavily on the cooperation of a therapy clinic in theOkanagan, and school districts which are identified in thestudy as A and B. The clinic provided access to thesexually abused sample. The clinic also acted as a mediator(for the sake of confidentiality), handling allcorrespondence between the subjects, the investigator, andthe schools from District A. School District B supplied theacademic records of the comparison group.Subjects The sample of sexually abused children was obtainedthrough a therapy clinic. All of these children weresubstantiated cases (all police referred) of sexual abuse,and all were in therapy at the time of the study. A totalof 15 sexually abused children were recruited, eight femalesand seven males, ranging in age from eight to thirteen yearsat the time of the study. The comparison group consisted of15 children who were not known to have been sexually abusedand who attended school in a geographically similar area.The comparison group was matched to the sexually abusedgroup on gender and grade.Recruitment The children who participated in this study wererecruited from two sources. A therapy clinic located in theOkanagan Valley that specialized in working with sexually31abused children was approached in January of 1992. Theclinic's partners and associates were presented with aproposal of the study and asked if they would be willing toparticipate. Following the clinic's consent to participate(see Appendix A), parents of the sexually abused childrenwere alerted to the study by letters of consent that weredistributed by counsellors at the clinic where theirchildren were receiving therapy. The letter (see AppendixB) briefly explained what the study was about; detailedmeasures that were being taken to ensure confidentiality;and reassured parents that refusal to participate orwithdrawal from the study would not influence their child'streatment in any way. At the end of the letter the parentswere asked to check whether they "do consent" or "do notconsent" to release a copy of their child's academic recordfor the sole purpose of research.Following the recruitment of the sexually abusedsample, School District B was contacted and informed as tothe nature of the study, and asked if they would be willingto supply the comparison group, which was comprised of theanonymous transcripts of 15 children that were not known tohave been sexually abused. With the approval of theSuperintendent of School District B (see Appendix C) aprincipal agreed to supply the transcripts for thecomparison group. The principal was supplied with thegender and ages of the sexually abused group in order tomatch the groups. The principal was then asked to select32only children that were "not known" to have been sexuallyabused. The researcher and the principal both feltreasonably certain that the principal would be very accurateat determining which children had and had not been sexuallyabused. This contention is supported by Koblinsky andBehana (1984) who state that educators are in a "strategicposition" to detect sexual abuse.The comparison group was not sampled from the sameschools or school district as the sexually abused group asan extra confidentiality precaution. The schools supplyingthe transcripts of the sexually abused group were not awareof the abuse status of the children; however, a prerequisiteof being in the comparison group was that the child not beknown to have been sexually abused. The researcher did notwant the principals to be inadvertently informed that thechildren whose transcripts were being requested might befrom the sexually abused group. The easiest way to avertthis type of disclosure was to utilize two separate schooldistricts from the same geographical area.Data CollectionThe data collected in this study fall into twocategories: information from the sexually abused group,which included descriptive variables related to the abuse,family information, and academic performance information,and information from the comparison group, which containedonly information on academic performance. The collectionmethods and the instruments used are described below.33Descriptive Variables and Background InformationSpecific information on the circumstances surroundingthe sexual abuse were collected on all children that weresexually abused. This information allowed for comparisonswithin the sexually abused group. The data were analyzed todetermine if any of the variables listed below put the childat greater risk for academic problems. This information wastaken from the records at the clinic where the children werereceiving therapy.Descriptive variables and family information collectedincluded gender, age at time of first exposure to the sexualabuse, grade at time of abuse, the frequency of the sexualabuse (occurred once, occurred a couple of times, occurredseveral times), type of abuse (exposure, fondling,intercourse), relationship of the perpetrator to the child(extrafamilial or intrafamilial), and sex of theperpetrator.In light of research suggesting that the reporting ofsexual abuse and the reactions (parental and societal)towards disclosure can cause trauma (Conte, 1984; Finkelhor& Browne, 1986) sometimes greater than the trauma of thesexual abuse itself (Runyan, 1988), the following data werealso obtained: information on parental supportiveness, timeelapsed prior to reporting (immediately, within six months,longer than six months), grade child was in at the time ofreporting, time elapsed after reporting prior to receivingcounselling (immediately, within six months, longer than six34months), and grade at time of receiving counselling. Theabove information allowed the researcher to determine ifacademic performance changes following the trauma ofreporting and if counselling and its timing had any affecton academic performance (see Table 4-7).Permanent Record CardsThe permanent record cards of all the children in thisstudy were obtained. After matching the comparison group ongender and age (selecting only children that were not knownto have been sexually abused) the principal supplying thecomparison transcripts eliminated identifying informationand sent the transcripts to the researcher.For the sexually abused group, the principals of theschools were presented with completed parental consent formsand a letter (see Appendix D) that briefly explained thenature of the study (without revealing the abuse status ofthe children), and requested to forward the permanent recordcards to the clinic. Despite having parental authorizationto release the permanent record cards, almost half of theschools refused to release the information. The principalswere very suspicious that only these particular childrenwith "very troubled backgrounds" (alluding to the abuse)were being utilized in this study. The awareness of thepersonal troubles experienced by these children indirectlysupports this researcher's claim that the principalsupplying the control group was in an excellent position todetermine which children had not been sexually abused. In35light of the schools' refusal to release the requestedinformation, the Deputy Superintendent of School District Asent out a letter to all the principals involved (seeAppendix E) giving them permission to release the studenttranscripts. The transcripts were sent to the clinic wherethe descriptive variables and background information wereappended to the transcripts prior to removing allidentifying information and sending them off to theresearcher.36Data AnalysisOnce the transcripts from both groups were received theinformation was coded for data analysis. Informationcontained in the permanent record cards included gender,age, all grades achieved since kindergarten, writtencomments from teachers, and days absent from each grade.Scores given to children in kindergarten through gradethree, as well as scores given in non-core courses (for allgrades) such as physical education, art, and music, followedthe format of Excellent, Good, Satisfactory+, Satisfactory,Satisfactory-, Pass, and Fail. These grades were transformed(for coding purposes) to a seven point scale. Thetransformations are as follows:Excellent^4.0Good 3.0Satisfactory+^2.5Satisfactory 2.0Satisfactory-^1.5Pass^1.0Fail 0.0Scores given in grades four through seven included A,B, C+, C, C-, P, and F. These scores were also transformedto a seven point scale. The transformations are as follows:A^4.03.0C+^2.52.0C- 1.51.00.037Since the study employed was a causal-comparative (alsoknow as an ex post facto) design, the data were analyzedusing descriptive statistics. Two tailed T-tests were usedto determine statistical significance. The next chapteraddresses the results of the data analysis.38CHAPTER 4RESULTSOverview of the ResultsThe research questions addressed in this study focus onthe academic differences between children that have beensexually abused and children that have not been sexuallyabused. The data necessary to address these questions wereobtained from the permanent record cards of all the childreninvolved. All evaluations from kindergarten through to themost recent grade completed by the child were included. Forthe variables Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3,only a single overall standing is given by teachers. Ingrades 4 through 7 students are assigned a score for fourcore courses (Language Arts, Math, Science and SocialStudies) and three non-core courses (P.E., Art and Music).To avoid the confusion caused by using the word "grade" torefer to both grade obtained and year in school, the termscore obtained will be used instead.The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Theobtained scores of the sexually abused group were comparedto the obtained scores of the non-abused group for eachgrade (and where applicable, each course taken).Comparisons were made on a group basis and not an individualbasis; for example, the average score obtained in grade 4math from all the students in the sexually abused group thathad completed grade 4 math was compared to the average score39of all the children in the non-abused group that hadcompleted grade 4 math.Two tailed T-tests were conducted to determine if theobtained means differed significantly from one another. Dueto the fact that the samples involved in this study aresmall (15 in each group) and that the age variance withinthe groups created comparisons as small as two in each group(only two students from each group had completed gradeseven) extreme caution must be used when interpreting thesignificance of the obtained results. In most cases onlycomparisons with at least four students in each group willbe discussed.The format of this chapter will be as follows: Eachresearch question will be restated and the resultspertaining to that question will be discussed.Comparing Sexually Abused and Non-Abused Children1)^Does the academic performance of sexually abusedchildren differ from that of children that have not beensexually abused?The first comparison conducted collapsed the sexes sothat all sexually abused children were compared to all non-abused children regardless of gender. Two tailed T-testswere performed to look at the differences between thesexually abused group and the non-abused group. The resultsare displayed in Table 4-1. The results indicate that the40sexually abused group differ significantly from the non-abused group on several of the variables representingobtained scores.The sexually abused group did not differ significantlyfrom the non-abused group on Standing in Kindergarten (t=-1.78, df=25, p=.087). However, the sexually abused groupdid significantly differ (scoring lower) than the non-abusedgroup on the variables Standing in Grade One through toobtained score in Grade 4 Social Studies. The mostsignificant differences were observed for the variablesStanding in Grade Three (t=-4.27, df=26, p=.000) andobtained score in Grade 4 Math (t=-4.16, df=22, p=.000). Nosignificant differences were found to exist between the twogroups in non-core courses (P.E., Art, Music) for grade 4.The sexually abused group also performed significantly morepoorly than the non-abused group on all the core courses forgrade five, with the most significant differences occurringfor Grade 5 Math (t=-3.13, df=14, p=.007). Once again nosignificant differences were found between the two groups inthe non-core courses for grade 5. No overall significantdifferences were found between the two groups for obtainedscores in grade six.TABLE 4-1T - TESTSDIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AND NON-ABUSED CHILDREN(sexes collapsed)Variable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non-AbusedStanding in Kindergarten 1 13 2.3077 0.522 0.145 -1.78 25 0.0872 14 2.6429 0.457 0.122Standing in Grade One 1 15 2.0000 0.906 0.234 -2.16 28 0.0392 15 2.5667 0.458 0.118Standing in Grade Two 1 15 2.0333 0.516 0.133 -3.10 28 0.0042 15 2.5333 0.352 0.091Standing in Grade Three 1 14 1.9643 0.536 0.143 -4.27 26 0.0002 14 2.8571 0.569 0.152Grade 4 Language Arts 1 12 2.0000 0.826 0.238 -3.34 22 0.0032 12 2.9167 0.426 0.135Grade 4 Math 1 12 1.8333 0.913 0.264 -4.16 22 0.0002 12 3.1250 0.569 0.164Grade 4 Science 1 12 1.9583 0.689 0.199 -2.24 22 0.0352 12 2.7500 1.011 0.292Grade 4 Social Studies 1 12 1.9167 0.821 0.237 -3.40 22 0.0032 12 3.0000 0.739 0.213Grade 4 PE 1 12 2.5000 0.707 0.204 -0.72 22 0.4822 12 2.6667 0.389 0.112Grade 4 Art 1 12 2.3333 0.444 0.128 -1.42 22 0.1692 12 2.5833 0.417 0.120Grade 4 Music 1 12 2.4583 0.782 0.226 -0.16 22 0.8762 12 2.5000 0.477 0.138TABLE 4-1ContinuedVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedGrade 5 Language Arts 1 8 2.1250 0.835 0.295 -2.37 14 0.0332 8 2.9375 0.496 0.175Grade 5 Math 1 8 2.1875 0.704 0.249 -3.13 14 0.0072 8 3.2500 0.655 0.231Grade 5 Science 1 8 2.0625 0.776 0.274 -2.17 14 0.0482 8 2.8125 0.594 0.210Grade 5 Social Studies 1 8 2.0625 0.821 0.290 -2.28 14 0.0392 8 2.8750 0.582 0.206Grade 5 PE 1 8 2.6250 0.518 0.183 0.87 14 0.3982 8 2.4375 0.320 0.113Grade 5 Art 1 8 2.7500 0.463 0.164 0.94 14 0.3622 8 2.5625 0.320 0.113Grade 5 Music 1 8 2.5000 0.535 0.189 0.26 14 0.7982 8 2.4375 0.417 0.148Grade 6 Language Arts 1 4 2.7500 0.957 0.479 0.25 6 0.8092 4 2.6250 0.250 0.125Grade 6 Math 1 4 2.2500 0.957 0.479 -2.24 6 0.0672 4 3.5000 0.577 0.289Grade 6 Science 1 4 2.8750 0.854 0.427 0.88 6 0.4142 4 2.5000 0.000 0.000Grade 6 Social Studies 1 4 2.2500 0.957 0.479 -1.26 6 0.2532 4 2.8750 0.250 0.125TABLE 4-1ContinuedVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedGrade 6 P.E. 1 4 2.7500 0.957 0.479 0.25 6 0.8092 4 2.6250 0.250 0.125Grade 6 Art 1 4 3.0000 0.000 0.000 1.73 6 0.1342 4 2.7500 0.289 0.144Grade 6 Music 1 4 2.7500 0.500 0.250 0.45 6 0.6702 4 2.6250 0.250 0.125442)^Do sexually abused children and non-abused childrendiffer with respect to days absent?Comparisons were also conducted to determine ifsexually abused and non-abused children differed in thenumber of days they were absent from school. Table 4-2displays the results comparing the differences between allsexually abused and non-abused (sexes collapsed) children.Sexually abused children were found to have missedsignificantly more days of school in grades 1, 2, and 5 thanthe non-abused group.TABLE 4-2T - TESTSDIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AND NON-ABUSED CHILDRENDAYS ABSENT(sexes collapsed)Variable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedKindergarten 1 13 12.923 22.677 6.289 1.07 25 0.2932 14 6.286 4.548 1.215Grade 1 1 15 11.700 10.039 2.592 2.07 28 0.0482 15 5.833 4.443 1.147Grade 2 1 15 11.033 6.605 1.705 2.17 28 0.0382 15 6.500 4.660 1.203Grade 3 1 14 10.607 9.451 2.526 1.79 26 0.0862 14 5.393 5.488 1.467Grade 4 1 12 11.583 5.950 1.718 1.32 22 0.2022 12 8.208 6.597 1.904Grade 5 1 7 14.000 10.870 4.109 2.10 13 0.0562 8 5.438 3.765 1.331Grade 6 1 4 6.125 2.394 1.197 -0.90 6 0.4012 4 9.750 7.665 3.832Grade 7 1 2 14.000 0.707 0.500 14.85 2 0.0052 2 3.500 0.707 0.50046The above results were further analyzed so that comparisonswithin the sexes could be made. Table 4-3 displays theresults of comparisons between sexually abused males andnon-abused males. Sexually abused males were found to haveobtained significantly lower scores on the variables"Standing in Grade three" and "Grade 4 Math" than the non-abused group. Comparisons beyond grade 4 will not bediscussed due to the size of the samples (< 5 subjects pergroup). Sexually abused males were not found to differsignificantly from non-abused males with respect to daysabsent (see Table 4-4).TABLE 4-3DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED MALES AND NON-ABUSED MALESVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.......Group 1 = SexuaU4Mmsed; Group 2 = Non - AbusedStanding in Kindergarten 1 5 2.500 0.500 0.224 -0.28 9 0.7872 6 2.583 0.492 0.201Standing in Grade One 1 7 2.286 0.951 0.360 -0.55 12 0.5942 7 2.500 0.408 0.154Standing in Grade Two 1 7 2.071 0.607 0.230 -1.35 12 0.2012 7 2.429 0.345 0.130Standing in Grade Three 1 6 1.917 0.585 0.239 -2.58 10 0.0282 6 2.667 0.408 0.167Grade 4 Language Arts 1 5 1.600 1.025 0.458 -2.02 8 0.0782 5 2.600 0.418 0.187Grade 4 Math 1 5 1.700 1.151 0.515 -2.43 8 0.0412 5 3.200 0.758 0.339Grade 4 Science 1 5 1.900 0.742 0.332 -0.68 8 0.5172 5 2.400 1.475 0.660Grade 4 Social Studies 1 5 2.000 0.707 0.316 -1.55 8 0.1592 5 2.900 1.084 0.485Grade 4 PE 1 5 2.400 0.548 0.245 -0.95 8 0.3712 5 2.700 0.447 0.200Grade 4 Art 1 5 2.100 0.224 0.100 -0.89 8 0.3972 5 2.300 0.447 0.200Grade 4 Music 1 5 2.400 0.894 0.400 0.22 8 0.8292 5 2.300 0.447 0.200TABLE 4-4DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED MALES AND NON-ABUSED MALES(Days Absent)Variable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedKindergarten 1 5 6.800 11.563 5.171 -0.11 9 0.9152 6 7.333 3.204 1.308Grade 1 1 7 13.000 9.548 3.609 1.96 12 0.0732 7 5.357 3.848 1.455Grade 2 1 7 7.643 4.580 1.731 -0.17 12 0.8672 7 8.143 6.196 2.342Grade 3 1 6 4.833 2.620 1.070 0.00 10 1.0002 6 4.833 3.983 1.626Grade 4 1 5 11.600 7.428 3.322 0.60 8 0.5642 5 8.200 10.232 4.57649Results from Table 4-5 demonstrate that sexually abusedfemales differ significantly from non-abused females onseveral scoring variables. Sexually abused females obtainedsignificantly lower scores on the variables "Standing inGrade One" through to obtained score in "grade 4 SocialStudies". The most significant difference was found for"Standing in Grade Three (T=-3.35, df=14, p=.005). Nosignificant differences were found for the grade four non-core courses. Although differences were found between thetwo groups in "Grade 5 Math" (T=2.80, df=8, p=.023) due tothe small sample size (n=5 subjects in each group) cautionshould be exercised with respect to any suggestions of truesignificance. As indicated in Table 4-6, sexually abusedfemales were also found to have been absent from "Grade Two"more days than the non-abused females (T=3.47, df=14,p=.004)TABLE 4-5T - TESTSDIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED FEMALES AND NON-ABUSED FEMALESVariable Group # ofCases Mean StandardDeviation StandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedStanding in Kindergarten 1 8 2.188 0.530 0.188 -2.02 14 0.0632 8 2.688 0.458 0.162Standing in Grade One 1 8 1.750 0.845 0.299 -2.50 14 0.0262 8 2.625 0.518 0.183Standing in Grade Two 1 8 2.000 0.463 0.164 -3.03 14 0.0092 8 2.625 0.354 0.125Standing in Grade Three 1 8 2.000 0.535 0.189 -3.35 14 0.0052 8 3.000 0.655 0.231Grade 4 Language Arts 1 7 2.286 0.567 0.214 -3.33 12 0.0062 7 3.143 0.378 0.143Grade 4 Math 1 7 1.929 0.787 0.297 -3.34 12 0.0062 7 3.071 0.450 0.170Grade 4 Science 1 7 2.000 0.707 0.267 -3.06 12 0.0102 7 3.000 0.500 0.189Grade 4 Social Studies 1 7 1.857 0.945 0.357 -3.07 12 0.0102 7 3.071 0.450 0.170Grade 4 PE 1 7 2.571 0.838 0.317 -.021 12 0.8412 7 2.643 0.378 0.143Grade 4 Art 1 7 2.500 0.500 0.189 -1.33 12 0.2072 7 2.786 0.267 0.101Grade 4 Music 1 7 2.500 0.764 0.289 -0.42 12 0.6822 7 2.643 0.476 0.180Table 4-5ContinuedVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Sexually Abused; Group 2 = Non-AbusedGrade 5 Language Pu:Its 1 5 2.300 0.758 0.339 -1.61 8 0.1472 5 3.000 0.612 0.274Grade 5 Math 1 5 2.200 0.758 0.339 -2.80 8 0.0232 5 3.500 0.707 0.316Grade 5 Science 1 5 2.300 0.758 0.339 -1.51 8 0.1702 5 3.000 0.707 0.316Grade 5 Social Studies 1 5 2.200 0.758 0.339 -1.73 8 0.1232 5 3.000 0.707 0.316Grade 5 PE 1 5 2.600 0.548 0.245 0.65 8 0.5352 5 2.400 0.418 0.187Grade 5 Art 1 5 2.800 0.447 0.200 0.43 8 0.6812 5 2.700 0.274 0.122Grade 5 Music 1 5 2.600 0.548 0.245 -0.37 8 0.7242 5 2.700 0.274 0.122TABLE 4-6DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED FEMALES AND NON-ABUSED FEMALES(Days Absent)Variable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = SexuaLly Abused; Group 2 = Non - AbusedKindergarten 1 8 16.750 27.598 9.757 1.13 14 0.2772 8 5.500 5.425 1.918Grade 1 1 8 10.563 10.966 3.877 1.01 14 0.3312 8 6.250 5.134 1.815Grade 2 1 8 14.000 6.908 2.442 3.47 14 0.0042 8 5.063 2.337 0.826Grade 3 1 8 14.938 10.534 3.724 2.07 14 0.0572 8 5.813 6.644 2.349Grade 4 1 7 11.571 5.303 2.004 1.44 12 0.1762 7 8.214 3.160 1.195Grade 5 1 4 16.250 14.575 7.287 1.55 7 0.1652 5 5.800 4.192 1.87553Comparisons Made Within the Sexually Abused GroupTwo categories of data were collected for the sexuallyabused group: information pertaining to academic performanceand descriptive information related to the abuse. Table 4-7lists the descriptive information broken down by gender.This information was obtained from clinical records. Thedata indicates that some gender differences do exist. Nodifferences were found with respect to variables surroundingthe actual abuse, for example, males and females were foundto be approximately the same age (7.7 years) and in the samegrade (two) at the time of abuse. However, differences werefound with respect to variables following the abuse. Forexample, only one of the seven parents of the sexuallyabused males were reported to be unsupportive (expressingdenial or rejection), whereas half (4/8) of the parents ofthe sexually abused females were reported to beunsupportive. Sexually abused females were more likely toreport the abuse immediately, but sexually abused males weremore likely to be brought in for counselling immediatelyfollowing the reporting of the abuse.3)^Do variables such as level of parental supportiveness,type of abuse (fondling vs. intercourse) and kind of abuse(intrafamilial vs extrafamilial) make a difference withrespect to academic performance?54Children who were victims of intrafamilial abusedid not differ significantly from children who were victimsof extrafamilial abuse with respect to academic performanceand days absent. No significant differences were found inthe academic performance or days absent between children whowere fondled and children who were penetrated (intercourse).Children who were penetrated were more likely to report theabuse sooner (t=3.21, df=13, p=.006) and receive counsellingsooner (t=2.24, df=13, p=.043) than the children who werefondled. No significant academic differences were found toexist between sexually abused children whose parents weresupportive as compared to sexually abused children whoseparents were non-supportive. However,children withsupportive parents were found to have been absent more daysin grade 1 (t=2.02, df=13, p=.065) and grade 4 (t=2.60,df=10, p=.026) than sexually abused children whose parentswere non-supportive.TABLE 4-7Descriptive Variables and Background InformationVariableFemales N=8 Males N=7Age at time of abuse x=7.750 sd=1.982 x=7.714 sd=1.254Grade at time of abuse x=2.5 sd=1.69 x=2.1 sd=1.07Frequency of abuseabused onceabused twiceabused several times305016Type of abuse fondling=5intercourse=3fondling=4intercourse=3Relation to perpetrator extrafamilial=5intrafamilial=3extrafamilial=3intrafamilial=4Sex of perpetrator male=7female=1male=5female=2Parental Support 4/8=yes 4/8=no 6/7=yes 1/7=noTime abuse reported immediately=3< 6 months=1> 6 months=4immediately=1< 6 months=1> 6 months=5Grade at time ofreportingx=3.875 sd=1.642 x=3.143 sd=1.345Time elapsed prior tocounsellingimmediately=2< 6 months=2> 6 months=4immediately=5< 6 months=0> 6 months=2Grade at time ofcounsellingx=4.5 sd=1.309 x=4.00 sd=1.735556Gender Differences4)^Does the academic performance of non-abused malesdiffer from that of non-abused females?Table 4-8 presents the results of comparisons betweennon-abused males and females. Females were found to havesignificantly higher obtained scores for "Grade 4 LanguageArts" (t=-2.35, df=10, p=.041) and "Grade 4 Art" (t=-2.37,df=10, p=.040). No other significant differences withrespect to obtained scores were found to exist. Non-abusedmales and females were not found to have differed withrespect to days absent (see Table 4-9).TABLE 4-8COMPARISONS WITHIN NON-ABUSED GROUP/ DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALESVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Mates; Gmq) 2 = FemalesStanding in Kindergarten 1 6 2.583 0.492 0.201 -0.41 12 0.6902 8 2.688 0.458 0.162Standing in Grade One 1 7 2.500 0.408 0.154 -0.51 13 0.6162 8 2.625 0.518 0.183Standing in Grade Two 1 7 2.429 0.345 0.130 -1.09 13 0.2972 8 2.625 0.354 0.125Standing in Grade Three 1 6 2.667 0.408 0.167 -1.09 12 0.2962 8 3.000 0.655 0.231Grade 4 Language Arts 1 5 2.600 0.418 0.187 -2.35 10 0.0412 7 3.143 0.378 0.143Grade 4 Math 1 5 3.200 0.758 0.339 0.37 10 0.7192 7 3.071 0.450 0.170Grade 4 Science 1 5 2.400 1.475 0.660 -1.01 10 0.3342 7 3.000 0.500 0.189Grade 4 Social Studies 1 5 2.900 1.084 0.485 -0.38 10 0.7112 7 3.071 0.450 0.170Grade 4 PE 1 5 2.700 0.447 0.200 0.24 10 0.8152 7 2.643 0.378 0.143Grade 4 Art 1 5 2.300 0.447 0.200 -2.37 10 0.0402 7 2.786 0.267 0.101Grade 4 Music 1 5 2.300 0.447 0.200 -1.26 10 0.2362 7 2.643 0.476 0.180TABLE 4-9T - TESTSCOMPARISONS WITHIN NON-ABUSED GROUPDIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES(Days Absent)Variable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Males; Group 2 = FemalesKindergarten 1 6 7.333 3.204 1.308 0.73 12 0.4782 8 5.500 5.425 1.918Grade 1 1 7 5.357 3.848 1.455 -.038 13 0.7132 8 6.250 5.134 1.815Grade 2 1 7 8.143 6.196 2.342 1.31 13 0.2132 8 5.063 2.337 0.826Grade 3 1 6 4.833 3.983 1.626 -0.32 12 0.7552 8 5.813 6.644 2.349Grade 4 1 5 8.200 10.232 4.576 -0.00 10 0.9972 7 8.214 3.160 1.19501co595) Does the academic performance of sexually abused malesdiffer from that of sexually abused females?As indicated in Table 4-10, no significant academicdifferences were found to exist between sexually abusedmales and sexually abused females. With respect to daysabsent, sexually abused females were found to have beenabsent significantly more days in "Grade 3" (T=-2.28, df=12,p=.042) than sexually abused males (refer to Table 4-11).TABLE 4-10T - TESTSCOMPARISONS WITHIN SEXUALLY ABUSED GROUPDIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALESVariable Group # ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Males; Group 2 = FemalesStanding in Kindergarten 1 5 2.500 0.500 0.224 1.06 11 0.3142 8 2.188 0.530 0.188Standing in Grade One 1 7 2.286 0.951 0.360 1.16 13 0.2692 8 1.750 0.845 0.299Standing in Grade Two 1 7 2.071 0.607 0.230 0.26 13 0.8002 8 2.000 0.463 0.164Standing in Grade Three 1 6 1.917 0.585 0.239 -0.28 12 0.7862 8 2.000 0.535 0.189Grade 4 Language Arts 1 5 1.600 1.025 0.458 -1.50 10 0.1662 7 2.286 0.567 0.214Grade 4 Math 1 5 1.700 1.151 0.515 -0.41 10 0.6902 7 1.929 0.787 0.297Grade 4 Science 1 5 1.900 0.742 0.332 -0.24 10 0.8182 7 2.000 0.707 0.267Grade 4 Social Studies 1 5 2.000 0.707 0.316 0.28 10 0.7822 7 1.857 0.945 0.357Grade 4 PE 1 5 2.400 0.548 0.245 -0.40 10 0.6992 7 2.571 0.838 0.317Grade 4 Art 1 5 2.100 0.224 0.100 -1.66 10 0.1292 7 2.500 0.500 0.189Grade 4 Music 1 5 2.400 0.894 0.400 -0.21 10 0.8392 7 2.500 0.764 0.289TABLE 4-11T - TESTSCOMPARISONS WITHIN SEXUALLY ABUSED GROUP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES(Days Absent)Variable Group f ofCasesMean StandardDeviationStandardErrorT-Value DegreesofFreedom2-TailProb.Group 1 = Males; Group 2 = MalesKindergarten 1 5 6.800 11.563 5.171 -0.76 11 0.4662 8 16.750 27.598 9.757Grade 1 1 7 13.000 9.548 3.609 0.46 13 0.6562 8 10.563 10.966 3.877Grade 2 1 7 7.643 4.580 1.731 -2.07 13 0.0592 8 14.000 6.908 2.442Grade 3 1 6 4.833 2.620 1.070 -2.28 12 0.0422 8 14.938 10.534 3.724Grade 4 1 5 11.600 7.428 3.322 0.01 10 0.9942 7 11.571 5.303 2.00462CHAPTER 5DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONSThe discussion is broken into three parts. The firstsection focuses on the results of the present study and therelationship of these results to the research questions thatguided the study. Following the discussion of the researchquestions, limitations of the current research are exploredand directions for future research are outlined.Comparing Sexually Abused and Non-Sexually Abused Children1)^Does the academic performance of sexually abusedchildren differ from children that have not been sexuallyabused?Results across gender indicate that sexually abusedchildren do differ significantly from non-abused children onacademic performance. Significant differences were foundfor evaluations given for grade 1 through to grade 5 on allcore courses. It is interesting to note that no significantdifferences were found for the non-core courses. It couldbe argued that the non-core courses demand a different formof mastery or that they are evaluated differently than corecourses and thus comparing performances on the two kinds ofcourses is not logical. However, it could be that thecreative aspect of the non-core courses made these coursesless intimidating. Music, Art and P.E. involve selfexpression which in itself may be considered therapeutic forsexually abused children (Yates, Beutler, & Crago 1985).63Comparisons done within the sexes reveal that sexuallyabused males obtained significantly lower scores on theevaluations for standing in grade three, and grade 4 math,but they did not differ significantly from the non-abusedgroup on any of the other evaluations. These results areinteresting if it is taken into consideration that sexuallyabused males were abused on average in grade two andreported the abuse on average in grade three (Table 4-7).These results suggest that the two groups did not differsignificantly prior to the abuse but that following thereporting of the abuse the grades of the sexually abusedmales dropped significantly.Sexually abused females were also found tosignificantly differ academically from non-abused females inevaluations from grade 1 through to grade 4 math. Sexuallyabused females were abused on average in grade two andreported the abuse on average in grade 4. The two groupsdid not differ significantly in kindergarten which was priorto the abuse, but did differ in grade one which was alsoprior to the average grade of occurrence of abuse. Onepossible explanation is that the sexually abused females mayhave been sexually abused prior to their first reportedincident. This is consistent with research that suggeststhat the victims of sexual abuse can actually repressmemories of sexual abuse (Bagley, 1985). Anotherexplanation is that there were academic problems not related64to the abuse.2) Do sexually abused children and non-abused childrendiffer with respect to days absent?On average sexually abused children were found to havebeen absent from school significantly more days in grades 1,2 and 5 than the non-abused children. This finding is alsoconsistent with other research suggesting that sexuallyabused children are truant more often than non-abusedchildren (Tong et al., 1987).Comparisons Made Within the Sexually Abused GroupIt is interesting to note that, despite the fact thatsexually abused females were more likely to report the abuseimmediately, sexually abused males were more likely to bebrought in for counselling immediately following thereporting of the abuse. This could be related to theresults suggesting that the parents of sexually abusedfemales were more likely to be unsupportive (expressingdenial or rejection) than the parents of sexually abusedmales.3) Do variables such as level of parental supportiveness,type of abuse (fondling vs. intercourse) and kind of abuse(intrafamilial vs. extrafamilial) make a difference withrespect to academic performance?Despite research suggesting that mitigating variablessurrounding the abuse affect the impact of the abuse (Briere& Runtz ,1986; Macfarlane, 1978; Russel, 1986), no65differences were found with respect to academic performance.Due to the small sample size (n=15 sexually abused children)and uneven representation across subject variables (i.e.parental supportiveness) caution must be used wheninterpreting the generalizability of such results.Gender Differences4) Does the academic performance of non-abused malesdiffer from that of non-abused females?Given that males and females were only found to differon one evaluation (females obtained higher scores for Grade4 Language Arts), no gender differences can be concludedwith respect to academic performance. No gender differencescan be concluded with respect to days absent either.5) Does the academic performance of sexually abused malesdiffer from that of sexually abused females?As with the non-abused group no gender differences canbe concluded within the sexually abused group.Summary of FindingsThe purpose of this study was to ascertain whethersexually abused children would demonstrate poorer academicperformance than non-abused children as predicted bytheoretical and experimental literature. This study alsoattempted to determine whether variables surrounding theabuse would have differing impact on academic performanceand whether gender differences exist with respect toacademic performance.66The results suggest that sexually abused children dodiffer from non-abused children with respect to academicperformance. On average the sexually abused childrenperformed more poorly than the non-abused children. Resultsindicating that the sexually abused group did not appear todiffer academically prior to the abuse suggest that thedifferences between the two groups may be, in part, due tothe sexual abuse. Variables surrounding the sexual abusedid not appear to affect academic performance, nor didgender play a significant role in academic performance.Limitations of the Current ResearchThere exist four main methodological limitations tothis study. The most significant limitation of this studyis the small sample size. Unfortunately the stigma and redtape that is attached to sexual abuse made it difficult togain access to a larger sample. The size of the sample mustbe taken into consideration when interpreting the resultsespecially with respect to significance.The second limitation is concerned with the homogeneityof the control group. Despite the fact that the comparisongroup was not known to have been sexually abused, one cannotknow for sure if any of the subjects in the control grouphad been sexually abused, thus contaminating the sample, orif there were other factors influencing academicperformance.The third limitation deals with developmental67confounds. The fact that the sexually abused group were notall the same age at time of abuse and that they were not allat the same academic level also create possible bias due todevelopmental differences. Perhaps children that are abusedat different developmental stages respond differently to theabuse. The fourth limitation concerns the subjective issuesinvolved in evaluations. Obtained scores were based onevaluations made by many different teachers, and there is noway of knowing whether the evaluations made by one teacherwould correspond to the evaluations of another teacher.Directions for Future ResearchAlthough the results of this study have importantimplications, they must be viewed as preliminary in nature.More studies are needed to further explore the cognitiveeffects of child sexual abuse. Future research shouldinclude the use of larger and more homogeneous samples.Samples of children who were of the same age at time ofabuse would control for developmental differences. Studiesof children who were all at the same academic level wouldallow for more powerful statistical analysis. Incorporatingthe use of intelligence measures would also allow for thedetermination of whether academic differences are due toability rather than circumstance.Future studies should also include studies that arelongitudinal in order to determine whether the impact ofsexual abuse on academic and cognitive functioning is a long68term effect. It would also be interesting to conductstudies that investigate the proposed link between traumaand memory. Such studies would enlighten us as to whysexual abuse can affect academic performance.Despite the methodological differences, all the aboveproposed studies have the same goal, and that is to improveour understanding of the impact of sexual abuse.69REFERENCESAdams-Tucker, C., (1982). Proximate effects of sexual abusein childhood: A report on 28 children. AmericanJournal of Psychiatry, 139(10), 1252-1256.American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic andstatistical manual (3rd ed. rev.). Washington, DC:Author.Anderson, S.C., Bach, C.M. & Griffith, S. (1981, April).Psychosocial sequelae in intrafamilial victims of sexual assault and abuse. Paper presented at the ThirdInternational Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect,Amsterdam.Armsworth, M. (1984). Post-traumatic stress responses inwomen who experienced incest as children oradolescence. Dissertation Abstracts International,  45,1674-B.Bagley, C. (1985). Child sexual abuse: An account of studies 1978-1984, (Rehabilitation and HealthMonographs, No.13) Calgary: The University of CalgaryPress.Bagley, C. (1989). Prevalence and correlates of unwantedsexual acts in childhood in a national Canadian sample.Canadian Journal of Public Health, 80, 295-296.Bagley, C. & Young, L. (1988). Depression, self-esteem andsuicidal behaviour as sequels of sexual abuse inchildhood: Research and therapy. In G. Cameron,(Ed.), Child maltreatment: Expanded concepts of helping. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Baker, A. W. & Duncan, S. P. (1985). Child sexual abuse: Astudy of prevalence in Great Britain, Child Abuse & Neglect, 9, 457-467.Besharov, D.J. (1981). Toward better research on childabuse and neglect: Making definitional issues andexplicit methodological concern. Child Abuse & Neglect, 5, 383-390.Brassard, M.R., & Gelardo, M.S. (1987). Psychologicalmaltreatment: The unifying construct in child abuseand neglect. Child Abuse & Neglect, 16, 127-136.70Briere, J. (1984, April). The effects of childhood sexual abuse on later psychological functioning: Defining a"post-sexual-abuse syndrome". Paper presented at theThird Conference on Sexual Victimization of Children,Washington, D.C.Briere, J., & Runtz, M. (1986). Suicidal thoughts andbehaviours in former sexual abuse victims. CanadianJournal of Behavioral Science, 18, 413-423.Britcher, J. (1986). Rape and incest: The long-termeffects on the victims. Dissertation Abstracts International, 46, 4449-B.Brouardel, (1883). Les causes d'erreur dans les expertisesaux attentats al la pudeur. Annales D' HygeinePublique et de Medicine Legale, 3rd Sere. 10, 60-71,148-179.Browne, A., & Finkelhor, D. (1986a). Initial and long-termeffects: A conceptual framework. In D. Finkelhor(Ed.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse (pp. 143-179). Beverly Hills: Sage.Browne, A., & Finkelhor, D. (1986b). Impact of child sexualabuse: A review of the research. PsychologicalBulletin, 99, 66-77.Brunngraber, L.S. (1986). Father-daughter incest:Immediate and long-term effects of sexual abuse.Advances in Nursing Science, 8, 15-35.Case, R. (1992). The mind's staircase: Exploring the conceptual underpinnings of children's thought andknowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence ErlbaumAssociates, Inc.Cavaiola, A.A., & Schiff, M. (1989). Self-esteem in abusedchemically dependent adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 13, 327-334.Cavanagh-Johnson, T. (1989). Female child perpetrators:Children who molest other children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 13, 571-585.Churchill's Medical Dictionary (1989). New York: ChurchillLivingston.Conte, J.R. (1984). Progress in treating the sexual abuse ofchildren. Social Work, 29, 258-63.71Conte, J.R., & Schuerman, J.R. (1987a). Factorsassociated with an increased impact of child sexualabuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11, 201-211.Conte, J.R., & Schuerman, J.R. (1987b). The effects ofsexual abuse on children. A multidimensional view.Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2(4), 380-390.Courtois, C.A. (1992). The memory retrieval process inincest survivor therapy. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 1(1), 15-31.De Jong, A.R., Hervada, A.R., & Emmett, G.A. (1983).Epidemiologic variations in childhood sexual abuse.Child Abuse & Neglect, 7, 155-62Deisher, R.W., Wenet, G.A., Paperney, D.M., Clark, T.F. &Fehrenbach, P.A. (1982). Adolescent sexual offensebehaviour: The role of the physician. Journal of Adolescent Health Care 2, 279-286.Dodge-Reyome, N. M. (1988). An investigation of the school performance of sexually abused and neglected children.Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Cornell University,New York.Einbender, A.J., & Friedich, W. N. (1989). Psychologicalfunctioning and behaviour of sexually abused girls.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57(1),155-157.Elwell, M.E., & Ephross, P.H. (1987). Initial reactions ofsexually abused children.  Social Casework: The Journal of Contemporary Social Worls, LR, 109-116.Finkelhor, D. (1979). Sexually victimized children. NewYork: Free Press.Finkelhor, D. (1981). Sex between siblings: Sex play,incest and aggression. In L. Constantine & F.M.Martinson (Eds.), Children and Sex (pp. 129-149).Boston: Little, Brown and Co.Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New research andtheory. The Free Press, New York.Finkelhor, D., & Browne, A. (1986). Initial and long-termeffects: A conceptual framework. In D. Finkelhor(Ed.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse (pp. 180-198). Beverly Hills: Sage.72Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I.A. & Smith, C. (1990).Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men andwomen: Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors.Child Abuse & Neglect, 14, 18-28.Fraser, S. (1987). My father's house: A memoir of incestand healing, Toronto: Doubleday.Friedrich, W.N., Beilke, R.L. & Urquiza, A.J. (1987).Children from sexually abusive families: A behavioralcomparison. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 391-402.Friedrich, W.N., & Luecke, W.J. (1988). Young school-agesexually aggressive children. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 19(2), 155-164.Friedrich, W.N., Urquiza, A.J., & Beilke, R.L. (1986).Behaviour problems in sexually abused young children.Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 11, 47-57.Fromuth, M.E. (1983). The long-term psychological impact ofchildhood sexual abuse. Dissertation Abstracts International, 44 2242B. (University Microfilms No.83-26, 352).Fromuth, M.E. (1986). The relationship of childhood sexualabuse with later psychological and sexual adjustment ina sample of college women.  Child Abuse & Neglect, 10,5-15.Gagnon, R. (1987). Child sexual abuse: Long-term sequelaeand traumagenic factors. Unpublished honours thesis,Concordia University, Montreal.Gold, E.R. (1986). Long-term effects of sexualvictimization in childhood: An attributional approach.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59(4),471-475.Gomes-Schwartz, B., Horowitz, J.M., & Sauzier, M. (1985).Severity of emotional distress among sexually abusedpreschool, school-age, and adolescent children.Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 36(5), 503-508.Goodwin, J., Cheeves, K., & Connell, V. (1987). Defining asyndrome of severe symptoms in survivors of extremeincestuous abuse. Paper presented at the Fourth AnnualMeeting of the International Society for the Study ofMultiple Personality and Dissociative Disorders,Chicago, IL.73Goodwin, J., McCarthy, T., & Divasto, P. (1981). Priorincest in mothers of abused children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 5, 87-96.Government of Canada (1984). Sexual offenses againstchildren. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 2 VolumesHartman, C., & Burgess, A. (1993). Information processingof trauma. Child Abuse & Neglect, 17, 47-58.Hibbard, R., & Hartman, G. (1992). Behavioral problems inalleged sexual abuse victims. Child Abuse & Neglect,1.k, 755-762.Hoffman-Plotkin, D., & Twentyman, C.T. (1984). Amultimodal assessment of behavioral and cognitivedeficits in abused and neglected preschoolers.  ChildDevelopment, 55, 794-802.Horowitz, M.J. (1976). Stress response syndromes. NewYork: Jason Aronson.Hyde, M., & Kaufman, P. (1984). Women molested as children:Therapeutic and legal issues in civil action. AmericanJournal of Forensic Psychiatry, 5, 147-157.Janet, P. (1889). L'automatisne psychologique: Essai depsychologie experimentale sur les formes inferieures del'activite humaine. Paris, Felix Alcan; Paris, SocietePierre Janet/payot, 1973.Johnson, R.L., & Shrier, D.K. (1985). Sexual victimizationof boys. Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 6, 372-376.Johnston, M.S. (1979). The sexually abused child:Diagnostic evaluation. Child Abuse & Neglect, 3, 943-951.Kempe, C.H. (1978). Sexual abuse: Another pediatricproblem. Pediatrics, 62, 382.Kercher, G.A. and McShane, M. (1984). The prevalence ofchild sexual abuse victimization in a adult sample ofTexas residents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 8, 495-501.Koblinsky, S. & Behana, N. (1984). Child sexual abuse: Theeducator's role in prevention, detection, andintervention. Young Children, 3-15.74Lindberg, F., & Distad, L. (1985). Post-traumatic stressdisorders in women who experienced childhood incest.Child Abuse & Neglect, 9, 329-334.Lusk, R.N. (1988). Cognitive and school-related differencesin allegedly sexually abused and non-abused children.Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University ofCalifornia, Los Angeles.Lusk, R., & Waterman, J. (1986). Effects of sexual abuse onchildren. In K. MacFarlane & J. Waterman, et al.(Eds.), Sexual abuse of young children (pp. 101-118).New York: Guilford Press.MacFarlane, K. (1978). Sexual abuse of children. In J.R.Chapman & M. Gates (Eds.), The victimization of women(pp.81-109). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Mannarino, A.P., & Cohen, J. (1987, July). Psychological symptoms of sexually abused children. Paper presentedat the Third National Family Violence Conference.University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.Meiselman, K.C. (1978). Incest. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Mian, M., Wehrspann, W., Klajner-Diamond, H., LeBaron, D., &Winder, C. (1986). Review of 125 children 6 years ofage and under who were sexually abused. Child Abuse & Neglect, 10, 223-229.Morgan, S.R. (1979). Psycho-educational profile ofemotionally disturbed abused children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Spring, 3-6.Morrow, K.B., & Sorell, G.T. (1989). Factors affectingself-esteem, depression, and negative behaviours insexually abused female adolescents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 677-686.Mrazek, P.B. (1981). Group psychotherapy with sexuallyabused children. In P.B. Mrazek & C.H. Kempe (Eds.),Sexually abused children and their families (pp.199-210). New York: Peragamon Press.Nash, C.L., & West, D.J. (1985). Sexual molestation ofyoung girls: A retrospective survey. In D.J. West(Ed.), Sexual victimization: Two recent researches into sex problems and their social effects. Aldershot,Hampshire, England: Gower Publishing Company.75Nissen, M.J., Ross, J.L., Willingham, D.B., Mackenzie, T.B.,& Schacter, D.L. (1988). Memory and awareness in apatient with multiple personality disorder. Brain andCognition, 8, 117-134.Oates, R.K.; Forrest, D.; Peacock, A. (1985). Self-esteemof abused children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 9, 159-163.Peters, J.J. (1976). Children who are victims of sexualassault and the psychology of offenders. AmericanJournal of Psychotherapy, 30, 398-421.Pierce, R., & Pierce, L.H. (1985). The sexually abusedchild: A comparison of male and female victims. ChildAbuse & Neglect, 9, 191-199.Province of British Columbia (1988). Inter-Ministry ChildAbuse Handbook. Ministry of social services.Putman, F.W. (1988) The switch process in multiplepersonality disorder and other state-change disorders.Dissociation, 1(1), 24-32.Putman, F.M. (1991). Dissociative phenomena. In A. Tasman(Ed.), Annual review of psychiatry (pp.159-174).Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Putman, F.M. (1993). Dissociative disorders in children:Behavioral profiles and Problems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 17, 39-45.Rogers, R.G. (1988). Discussion Paper: An overview ofissues and concerns related to the sexual abuse ofchildren in Canada.Runtz, M.G. (1987, June). The sexual victimization of women: The link between child abuse andrevictimization. Paper presented to the annual meetingof the Canadian Psychological Association, Vancouver,B.C.Runtz, M., & Briere, J. (1986). Adolescent "acting-out"and childhood history of sexual abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1, 326-334.Runyan, D.K. (1988). Impact of legal intervention onsexually abused children. Journal of Pediatrics,113(A), 647-653.Russell, D. (1986). The secret trauma: Incest in the lives of girls and women. New York: Basic.76Schacter, D.L., Kihlstrom, J.F., Kihlstrom, L.C., Berren,M.B. (1989). Autobiographical memory in a cast ofmultiple personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98(4), 1-7.Sedney, M.A., & Brooks, B. (1984). Factors associated witha history of childhood sexual experience in a non-clinical female population. Journal of the AmericanAcademy of Child Psychiatry 23, 215-218.Silberman, E. K., Putman, F.W., Weingartner, H., Braun,B.G., & Post, R.M. (1985). Dissociative states inmultiple personality disorder: A quantitative study.Psychiatry Research, 15, 253-260.Stiffman, A.R. (1989). Physical and sexual abuse in runawayyouths. Child abuse & Neglect, 11, 417-426.Summit, R. (1983). The sexual abuse accommodation syndrome.Child Abuse & Neglect, 7, 177-193.Tardieu, A. (1857) Etude Medico-Legale Sur Les Attentats Aux Moeurs. Paris.Terr, L.C. (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline andoverview. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(1), 10-20.Tong, L; Oates, K.; McDowell, M. (1987). Personalitydevelopment following sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11, 371-383.Tsai, M., Feldman-Summers, S., & Edgar, M. (1979).Childhood molestation: Variables related todifferential impacts on psychosexual functioning inadult women. Journal of Abnormal Psycholoay, 88, 407-417.Tsai, M., & Wagner, N.N. (1978). Therapy groups for womensexually molested as children. Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 7, 417-427.van der Kolk, B.A. (1987). Psychological Trauma.Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press.van der Kolk, B.A. (1989). The compulsion to repeat thetrauma: revictimization, attachment and masochism.Psychiatry Clin North Am, 12, 389-411.Vander Mey, B.J. (1988). The sexual victimization of malechildren: A review of previous research. Child Abuse& Neglect, 12, 61-72.77Wachtel, A. (1988). The impact of child sexual abuse in developmental perspective: A model and literature review. Canada: National Clearinghouse on FamilyViolence.West, L. (1967). Dissociative reaction. In A.M. Freeman, &H.I. Kaplan (Eds.), Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (pp. 885-889). Baltimore, MD: Williams andWilkins.Winestine, M.C. (1985). Compulsive shopping as a derivativeof childhood seduction. Psychoanalytic Ouarterly, 54(1), 70-72.Wodarski, J.S., Kurtz, P.D., Gaudin, J.M. Jr., & Howing,P.T. (1990). Maltreatment and the school-age child:Major academic, socioemotional, and adaptive outcomes.Social Work, 15.(6), 506-513.Wyatt, G.E. (1985). The sexual abuse of Afro-American andWhite American women in childhood, Child Abuse & Neglect, 9, 507-19.Yates, A., Beutler, L.E., and Crago, M. (1985). Drawing bychild victims of incest. Child Abuse & Neglect, 9,183-189.r Confer & Family Therapy Associatesgppendix A^ 78PARTNERS:Undo Keller, BA, M.Sc., Ph.D.(Cand.)Marilyn D. Some ^RAW., MW, LW.Judith A Schofield, &S.W.Gall auk BA, MA(Couns.Aly)Adrienne McDougall, BA, MALAWOORMSGerry McDougall, BA(Psy), MA(Cand.)Dbne Wilkinson, BYd.. MSc.Adana Douglas. BAMay 5, 1992•THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAFaculty of EducationDepartment of Mathematics andScience Education2125 Main MallVANCOUVER, BCV6T 1Z4?AXED TO: (604)822-4714 LETTER OF CONSENTRE: Rina A. Bonanno This is to confirm that Confer & Family Therapy Associates ofKelowna, B.C., consents to assist Rina Bonanno with her study onthe academic needs of children. We agree that our role will be tohandle correspondence between the school and children we havereferred to the study. Should you have any questions, please donot hesitate to contact us.Gerry McD gall, B.A., M.A. (Cand.), RCCGM/11s4ctUDJ -L' • or(0%.- 1511 Sutherland Ave., Mown; B.C. WY 5Y7 Phone 704e69Sincerely,A. BonannoProject InvestigatorMathematics/Science EducationfasiouMathematics/Science Ed.79Appendix BDear ParentI am doing a study on the academic needs of children and would like to request your permission to review yourchild's academic record. This study will be useful in determining whether the academic needs of all children arecurrently being satisfied.The study involves reviewing the academic records (which will remain anonymous) of groups of children from theOkanagan area, and determining which subjects/courses (if any) give students the most difficulty.The study is being conducted with help from Confer & Family Therapy Associates. To obtain copies of academicrecords, only Counsellors from Confer will handle correspondence between yourself and your child's school.Counsellors will then remove any identifying information before handing the transcripts over to researchers whowill complete the study. Confer's involvement ensures complete confidentiality of all information gathered fromyour child's academic record. You may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time. Refusal toparticipate or withdraw from the study will not influence Confer & Family Therapy Associates or affect your child'streatment in any way.I would greatly appreciate your assistance with this study. Please sign this letter in the space provided belowindicating whether you do or do not agree to let your child's academic record be released (for the sole purpose ofresearch) and be included (anonymously) in this study, and return it to one of the Counsellors at Confer & FamilyTherapy Associates. Please also sign and retain the second copy for your own records.Should you have any questions, I would be pleased to discuss them with you. I can be contacted in Vancouver at737-4858. My thesis advisor is Dr. CJ. Anastasiou and he can be reached at The University of British Columbia at822-5316. Thank-you very much for your interest and cooperation.^ , parent or guardian of^, who attendsschooldo consentdo not consent(please check one of the above)to release a copy of my child's academic record (for the sole purpose of research). I acknowledge that I havereceived a copy of this consent form.Signature^ Date:^Appendbr C^ 80TROUT CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOLSchool District No. 77 (Summerland)P.O. Box 3000Summerland, B.C. VOH 1Z0 Telephone: 494-7876May 14, 1992TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:Re: Rina-A. Bonanno This will confirm that Trout Creek School, Summerland,B.C., consents to assist Rina Bonanno with her study on theacademic needs of students. We agree, with approval fromDr. L. Thomas, Superintendent of Schools, that our role willbe to provide information on the academic progress of twentymembers of a control group. No names from this group willbe revealed in order to guarantee anonymity.PrincipalGS:dgcc: Dr. L. ThomasSuperintendent of SchoolsSchool District #77 (Summerland)81Appendix DDear Principal:Enclosed please find completed consent forms from parents who have agreed to allow copies of theirchildren's academic records to be included in a study on the academic needs of children.The study involves reviewing the academic records of groups of children from the Okanagan area, anddetermining which subjects/courses (if any) give students the most difficulty.This study is being conducted with help from Confer & Family Therapy Associates (in Kelowna). Pleaserefer to the attached consent form for a more detailed account of Confer's involvement.I would greatly appreciate your assistance with this study. Please send copies of up to date PermanentRecord Cards for the children whose parents have authorized their release. It would be of great benefit ifyou would also send a copy of their complete 1991/92 report cards. The P.R. cards will allow me to trackthe children's progress, and the report cards will supply valuable insight as provided by their teachers'verbal appraisal.I appreciate that this is the end of the school year and that you must be very busy, however, it is essentialthat the data be collected prior to the end of this school year. Please send the P.R. cards and report cardsas soon as possible to:Gerry McDougallConfer & Family Therapy Associates#209 - 1511 Sutherland Ave.Kelowna, B.C.VlY 5Y7Should you have any questions, I would be pleased to discuss them with you. I can be contacted inVancouver at 737-4858. My thesis advisor is Dr. CJ. Anastasiou and he can be reached at The Universityof British Columbia at 822-5316. Thank-you so very much for your cooperation.Sincerely,Rina A. BonannoProject InvestigatorMathematics/Science EducationSCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 23arinuimumuum-74wwwneam-Appendix E^ 82SUPPORT SERVICES(McWilliams Centre)MEMORANDUMTo:^Len St. Croix, Principal, Wood Lake Elem^From: Ron GarnerMurray MacKenzie, Principal, North Glenmore Elem^Deputy SuperintendentJim Klein, Principal, Westbank ElemTed St. Pierre, Principal, AS Matheson ElemSusan MacNeil, Principal, Casorso ElemDoug Green, Principal, Dorothea Walker ElemDave Carmichael, Principal, Hudson Road ElemDate: June 24, 1992^ File:^cAraglubcstudyRe:^Student Transcripts and UBC StudyRina Bonanno is a student who is conducting a UBC supervised study on the academic needsof selected students in the Okanagan.The parents of all students selected for this study have given their consent for studenttranscript records to be released.This memo will serve as School District #23 permission for Principals of the schools notedabove to release copies of student transcripts relating to this study according to the writtenparent consent which Rine will present to you.C^Dr. L V. Sloan, Superintendent of SchoolsC. Lownsbrough, Director of Elementary InstructionB. Scherer, Director of Elementary Instruction

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0086337/manifest

Comment

Related Items