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CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD AND ADULT SEXUAL TRAUMA 
AMONG DEAF ADULTS

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the consequences of sexual and physical trauma among a sample of deaf adults.  The 32 men and 45 women completed the Life Event Checklist (LEC), the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI), the Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire-20 (SDQ-20) and a socio-demographic questionnaire.  In this sample, 40.6% of the male participants and 53.3% of the female participants had experienced some type of sexual trauma during their lifetimes.  Physical trauma was reported by 75% of males and 71.1% of female participants. Those who had experienced childhood sexual trauma, the odds ratio of revictimization in adulthood was 6.69.  Sexual trauma also rarely occurred by itself.  Two thirds of all participants with sexual trauma histories also reported some type of physical abuse. Participants with sexual trauma histories displayed significantly more symptoms of PTSD and depression than people without such trauma history.  Physical and sexual abuse represent a significant problem in the Deaf community.  The authors include a call for the development of targeted intervention attempts to prevent further victimization in deaf child and adolescent populations.

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​Sven Schild, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Certified EMDR Clinician