The long-term effects of child sexual abuse

CFCA Paper No. 11 – January 2013

A range of outcomes

Studies concerned with the short- and longer-term outcomes associated with child sexual abuse cover a diverse range of outcomes, including mental health and functioning, behavioural outcomes, interpersonal and social outcomes, educational outcomes, and increasingly, physical health and brain development. As Kendall-Tackett (2002), among others, has pointed out, child abuse is related to "health via a complex matrix of behavioural, emotional, social, and cognitive factors" which relate to a complex array of outcomes (p. 715). The main focus in this paper is on mental health functioning and behaviours and interpersonal aspects.