Factors influencing children to self-disclose sexual abuse

Mary L. Paine, David J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

353 Scopus citations


Self-disclosure by victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) is critical to initiate legal and therapeutic intervention. Unfortunately, research indicates that lengthy delays in disclosure and even nondisclosure are common. A comprehensive review of the clinical and research literature on CSA and an overview of related bodies of literature was conducted. Areas addressed include the context of sexual abuse as it relates to disclosure, the context and elements of children's disclosures, motivational factors inhibiting disclosure, and models of the disclosure process. Ancillary and analogue research on secrecy and disclosure are also reviewed. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-295
Number of pages25
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Disclosure
  • Secrecy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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