The purpose of this study was to examine the stress responses of parents to the sexual and ritualistic abuse of their children in day-care centers. Sixty-five mothers and 46 fathers of children sexually abused in day-care centers completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), a measure of psychological distress. These scores were compared with a carefully matched comparison group of parents of 67 nonabused children. Parents of abused children also completed the Impact of Event Scale (IES), a measure which indexes symptoms that characterize posttraumatic stress disorder. Parents of sexually abused children reported significantly more psychological distress than parents of nonabused children, with parents of ritually abused children displaying the most severe psychological distress. Parents of abused children reported symptom profiles on the SCL-90-R and IES consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.