Incest survivors: the relation of their perceptions of their parents and their own parenting attitudes

Pamela Marie Cole, Christi Woolger

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59 Scopus citations


The present study examined the child-rearing attitudes of incest and nonincest child sexual abuse survivors and their perceptions of their own parents' behavior. From a sample of women with a history of child sexual abuse, 40 women with children completed questionnaires designed to assess their own and their parents' child-rearing behavior in terms of the dimensions of parental acceptance and control. The data indicated that women from incestuous backgrounds had more negative perceptions of their fathers and mothers in terms of acceptance and control than women abused by men who were not related to them. Moreover, incest victims who perceived their mothers negatively endorsed autonomy promotion in their own attitudes toward child rearing. The findings are discussed in terms of(l) the lack of positive parenting models when relations with both parents are experienced as negative, (2) incest survivors' conflicts about their own early maturity, and (3) the relation of these findings to the tendency for intergenerational repetition of father-daughter incest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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