Sleep disturbances and childhood sexual abuse

  • Noll J
  • Trickett P
  • Susman E
 et al. 
  • 16

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This longitudinal, prospective study examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and later sleep problems in adolescence while taking into account cooccurring psychopathology that is closely related to sleep disruption [e.g., depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)]. METHOD: Sleep disturbances in 147 females (78 sexually abused; 69 comparison) were assessed 10 years after disclosure of substantiated abuse. The follow-up protocol included self-report questions regarding typical sleeping patterns and sleep disturbances as well as measures of depression, PTSD, and lifetime victimization histories. RESULTS: Sleep disturbances correlated significantly with both depression and PTSD. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that sexually abused participants reported significantly greater rates of sleep disturbances than comparison participants above and beyond depression and PTSD. Sleep disturbances were related to revictimization rates independent of sexual abuse, depression, and PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: Assessments of sleep disturbances should be integrated into standard of care for adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse.

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Authors

  • J. G. Noll

  • P. K. Trickett

  • E. J. Susman

  • F. W. Putnam

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