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Profiles of Adult Survivors of Severe Sexual, Physical and Emotional Institutional Abuse in Ireland

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 19 Issue: 6 Dated: November-December 2010 Pages: 387-404
Mark Fitzpatrick; Alan Carr; Barbara Dooley; Rolsin Flanagan-Howard; Edel Flanagan; Kevin Tierney; Megan White; Margaret Daly; Mark Shevlin; Jonathan Egan
Date Published
November 2010
18 pages
This paper establishes profiles of adult survivors who identified severe sexual, physical, or emotional abuse while institutionalized in Ireland.
Adult survivors of institutional abuse were interviewed with a comprehensive assessment protocol which included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Institutional Child Abuse Processes and Coping Inventory, the Structured Clinical Interviews for Disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV axis I disorders and personality disorders, the Trauma Symptoms Inventory, a Life Problems Checklist, the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Profiles were identified for subgroups that described severe sexual (N = 60), physical (N = 102), or emotional (N = 85) abuse as their worst forms of maltreatment. Survivors of severe sexual abuse had the most abnormal profile, which was characterized by higher rates of all forms of child maltreatment and higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol and substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, trauma symptoms, and life problems. Survivors of severe emotional abuse were better adjusted than the other two groups. The profile of survivors of severe physical abuse occupied an intermediate position between the other two groups. A thorough assessment of abuse history and current functioning should be conducted when providing services to adult survivors of institutional abuse, since this may have important implications for the intensity of services required. Survivors of severe sexual abuse may require more intensive services. (Published Abstract) Tables and references