An investigation of the relationship between childhood sexual abuse experiences and psychosocial adjustment in a sample of Black South African adolescents.
Mkhize, Mary Sibongile.
MetadataShow full item record
Child sexual abuse and its potential negative psychological effects exists the world over. In view of the unique history of South Africa, characterised by inequality and incumbent socio-economic ills, a history of CSA is likely to add to a tapestry of cultural, political, social and economic afflictions for a great number of affected adolescents. Additionally, HIV/AIDS estimates indicate that a growing number of children are infected and orphaned daily. The present research therefore investigated the prevalence of child sexual abuse and explored the relationship between a history of sexual abuse and psychological adjustment, in South African adolescents. The sample included 330 Grade 9 learners from two high schools in the rural, urban and peri-urban areas of KwaZulu-Natal. A self-report questionnaire was used to collect data related to experiences of abuse. To assess adjustment, the Reynolds Adolescent Adjustment Scale Inventory was also incorporated into the questionnaire. The current study showed a 57.6% prevalence rate of sexual abuse amongst the sample. There were no statistically significant differences between sexually abused adolescents and those without a history of abuse on the psychological adjustment scale. However, there was a significant association between gender, age at time of abuse, being abused by a step-parent, late disclosure, and interface with the police, in relation to psychological adjustment problems.