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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: The book discusses the effects of child sexual abuse on adult health experiences. It integrates current research and covers many areas. It also provides suggestions for future research and intervention.
Purpose: According to the editors, "the first goal of this book is to synthesize and bring attention to the growing scientific literature about sequelae of CSA (child sexual abuse), particularly sexual revictimization (e.g., experiencing sexual violence or rape with another person) and sexual risk (e.g., having multiple sexual partners, unprotected sexual intercourse). Toward this end, we bring together research from a variety of disciplines, including epidemiology, traumatology, and prevention science, to better understand the relationship between CSA and adult sexual risk and to explore opportunities for prevention." The editors add that, "overall, the book does not concentrate on clinical applications." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: According to the editors, "the book contains information that will be helpful to those working with people who have a history of CSA." I believe that researchers and educators would probably benefit the most from this book. The editors and contributors are credible authorities.
Features: The book begins with a description of what we know about child sexual abuse. It goes on to explore theoretical bases for adult risk and revictimization. Lastly, it provides interventions to promote healthy behavioral alternatives. This book also includes research involving CSA and men. However, the majority of the book emphasizes the experiences of women because the prevalence rates are so much higher among women. The editors and contributors have provided a tremendous amount of research for the reader to review, which is one of the strengths of this book.
Assessment: I appreciated the way this book thoroughly addresses the topic. It includes research addressing both genders, which is somewhat unusual. The book spends a lot of time on the relationship between CSA and HIV risk, which is critical in this day and age. The interventions in Part IV are nicely discussed and provide hope for child sexual abuse survivors.