The Effect of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Psychosexual Functioning During Adulthood

Scott D. Easton, Carol Coohey, Patrick O'leary, Ying Zhang, Lei Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The study examined whether and how characteristics of childhood sexual abuse and disclosure influenced three dimensions of psychosexual functioning-emotional, behavioral and evaluative-during adulthood. The sample included 165 adults who were sexually abused as children. The General Estimating Equation was used to test the relationship among the predictors, moderators and five binary outcomes: fear of sex and guilt during sex (emotional dimension), problems with touch and problems with sexual arousal (behavioral), and sexual satisfaction (evaluative). Respondents who were older when they were first abused, injured, had more than one abuser, said the abuse was incest, and told someone about the abuse were more likely to experience problems in at least one area of psychosexual functioning. Older children who told were more likely than younger children who told to fear sex and have problems with touch during adulthood. Researchers and practitioners should consider examining multiple dimensions of psychosexual functioning and potential moderators, such as response to disclosure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult survivors
  • Child sexual abuse
  • GEE
  • Sexual functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Psychosexual Functioning During Adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this