Self-reported panic attacks in adulthood: Relationship with injury, location and disclosure of childhood sexual abuse

Lynette M. Renner, Carol Coohey, Gillian Ruch, Patrick O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

•Summary: Children's long-term response to sexual abuse is likely to be influenced by its context, such as the location of the abuse, the severity of the abuse, their relationship to the abuser, and whether they disclose the abuse. In this study, we examine whether these factors increase the likelihood that children will experience panic attacks during adulthood.•Findings: This secondary analysis relied on a convenience sample of 92 participants who were recruited through community advertisements. In the multivariate model, adults who were injured during the sexual abuse, were sexually abused outside their home, who reported the sexual abuse was incest, and who were in midlife were more likely to experience panic attacks. Disclosing abuse and wanting to disclose abuse, but being unable to, were not related to panic attacks.•Applications: The results of this exploratory study need to be verified by other researchers using a larger sample. For children, discussing the location of the abuse could lead to a conversation about safe spaces and protective strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-318
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Work
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Social work
  • child sexual abuse
  • disclosure
  • injury
  • panic attacks

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