Faculty Publications

Title

Nightmares and flashbacks: The impact of commercial sexual exploitation of children among female adolescents placed in residential care

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joan A Reid

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

ISSN

0145-2134

Abstract

Background

Important unresolved questions remain concerning the specific vulnerabilities and intervention needs of female adolescents who experience commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), when compared to other highly vulnerable female adolescents.

Objective

This study aimed to assess differences in the level of post-traumatic symptoms reported by those who experienced CSEC during adolescence and those who did not.

Participants and setting

The study used longitudinal data collected from 125 French-speaking female adolescents who were placed in residential centers between the ages 12 and 17 years.

Method

Post-traumatic symptoms were assessed at Time 1 and Time 6, while CSEC involvement was assessed at Times 1-5. One-way ANOVAs were performed to inspect differences in the level of post-traumatic symptoms at Time 6 between the participants who reported CSEC during adolescence (n = 70; 56.0%) and those with no history of CSEC (n = 55; 44.0%). Hierarchical regressions examined the effects of CESC while controlling for age, immigration status, child sexual abuse, and post-traumatic symptoms reported at Time 1.

Results

CSEC during adolescence predicted higher levels of general post-traumatic symptoms, anxious arousal, intrusive experiences, defensive avoidance, and dissociation.

Conclusions

CSEC experiences intensify the existing vulnerabilities to traumatic sequelae that characterize female adolescents who are placed in residential care.

Publisher

Elsevier Ltd.

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