Personal Mastery Buffers the Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Women’s Health and Family Functioning

Antonette King, Britney M. Wardecker, Robin S. Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Personal mastery has been associated with many positive outcomes and may attenuate negative responses to life stressors. Our research extends prior work by examining whether personal mastery can buffer women from long-term outcomes associated with childhood sexual abuse (CSA). We expected that: (1) women with CSA histories would report more depressive symptoms, poorer family functioning, and more physical health problems compared to women without such histories; (2) personal mastery would be associated with better outcomes in these domains; and (3) personal mastery would attenuate the effects of CSA on women’s outcomes. Data were obtained from a larger study of parenting among women with and without CSA histories. Our predictions were fully supported for depressive symptoms and family dysfunction, and partially supported for physical health. The current findings contribute to knowledge about the long-term effects of CSA and identify a protective factor that may buffer the negative sequelae of traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-897
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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