Sleep problems and dissociation in preschool victims of sexual abuse

Auteurs: 
Hébert, Martine
Langevin, Rachel
Guidi, Elisa
Allard-Dansereau, Claire
Information additionnelle disponible sur ces auteurs: 
Année de publication: 
2016
Source: 
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 18(4), 507-521
Résumé: 

Objective: Child sexual abuse (CSA) is associated with a host of deleterious impacts, yet little is known about the short-term correlates in children. This study aimed to investigate the association between dissociation and sleep problems in a sample of preschool-age sexual abuse victims while controlling for potentially confounding variables, including gender, age, polytrauma, CSA characteristics, and parental distress.

Method: The sample consisted of 179 children (ages 3-6 years) and their non-offending parents. Parents completed questionnaires assessing their child's dissociative symptoms and sleep problems as well as their own level of psychological distress.

Results: Regression analyses revealed that sleep problems were significantly associated with dissociative symptoms over and above all other control variables (children's gender and age, polytrauma, and parental distress). A longer duration of sexual abuse also predicted greater dissociative symptoms in preschool children.

Conclusion: Findings highlight the association between sleep problems and dissociation in preschool-age victims of CSA. Further research is needed to understand their impact on children's development to design appropriate treatment and prevention initiatives aimed at fostering resilience in young vulnerable children.

Type de publication: 
Article de journaux
Catégorie: 
Canadian CW research