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Rethinking Teenage Childbearing: Is Sexual Abuse a Missing Link

Janice R. Butler and Linda M. Burton
Family Relations
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 73-80
DOI: 10.2307/584952
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/584952
Page Count: 8
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Rethinking Teenage Childbearing: Is Sexual Abuse a Missing Link
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Abstract

This exploratory study examines the relationship between childhood sexual victimization and adolescent pregnancy. Interviews were conducted with a nonclinical sample of 41 young rural mothers who had been pregnant as teenagers. Research questions concerning the prevalence of sexually abusive experiences, the effects of such abuse on self-perceptions, and differences between victimized and nonvictimized young mothers were addressed. Of the respondents, 54% reported that they had been sexually abused by the age of 18. Victims' self-perceptions and their relationships with others appear to have suffered because of the abusive experiences, yet few significant differences were noted when the victims were compared to nonvictims in the sample. Implications of these findings for practitioners are discussed.

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