Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Bill Kinder, Ph.D.


Resilience, Intelligence, Severity, Foster homes, Achievement


Although a number of negative consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) have been identified, research has shown that some survivors of CSA are fairly resilient and do not demonstrate these negative outcomes. The current study examined differences between sexually abused and non-abused children on a number of emotional and behavioral dimensions and on achievement. In addition, the role of factors such as intelligence, abuse severity, gender, history of previous psychological interventions and number of foster homes on outcomes in a group of 117 children between the ages of 7 and 16 with sexual abuse histories and 80 controls who did not have a reported history of sexual abuse was examined. Results suggested that children with CSA histories were rated by their caregivers as exhibiting significantly more overall behavior problems than children without CSA histories. CSA history was not found to be significantly associated with self reported depressive symptoms and there was not a significant relationship between gender and caregiver reported behavior problems. However, consistent with expectations, CSA history was significantly associated with intelligence and higher levels of intelligence being predictive of better functioning in a number of areas. Similarly, CSA history was significantly associated with achievement and as expected, higher levels of intelligence were significantly associated with higher overall achievement. Number of foster care placements, abuse severity, history of previous psychological treatment and age at time of testing were generally not found to be significantly associated with resilience.