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Anogenital and Physical Injuries in Adolescent Sexual Assault Patients

The Role of Victim–Offender Relationship, Alcohol Use, and Memory Impairment

Feeney, Hannah MA1; Chiaramonte, Danielle MA1; Campbell, Rebecca PhD1; Greeson, Megan R. PhD2; Fehler-Cabral, Giannina PhD3

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000148
Original Articles

ABSTRACT Prior research has documented high rates of anogenital and physical injuries among adolescent sexual assault patients. Although a number of factors related to rates of injury detection in adolescents have been identified, there may be additional features of the assault that are disclosed in the patient history that could be important indicators of injury risk. The purpose of the current study was to expand this literature by examining whether factors that are salient in sexual assaults committed against adolescents—victim–offender relationship, substance use, and memory impairment—are associated with documented anogenital and physical injury rates. Results indicated that victim–offender relationship, substance use, and assault memory are significantly related to the number of anogenital injuries and, particularly, the number of physical injuries detected in adolescent sexual assault patients. These results highlight the importance of a comprehensive patient history, including assessment of alcohol and drug use and memory impairment, to guide the medical forensic examination.

Author Affiliations:1Department of Psychology, Michigan State University; 2Department of Psychology, DePaul University; and 3Harder + Company Community Research.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Justice awarded to the third author (2007-WG-BX-0012). The opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Hannah Feeney, MA, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 8 Psychology Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1116. E-mail:

Received December 22, 2016; accepted for publication March 28, 2017.

© 2017 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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