High Betrayal Adolescent Sexual Abuse and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: The Role of Depersonalization in Emerging Adults.

A new interesting article has been published in J Child Sex Abus. 2018 Nov 7:1-15. doi: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1539425. [Epub ahead of print] and titled:

High Betrayal Adolescent Sexual Abuse and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: The Role of Depersonalization in Emerging Adults.

Authors of this article are:

Gómez JM.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Adolescent sexual abuse can interfere with healthy development. Sexual abuse that is perpetrated by close other(s)-high betrayal-can be additionally harmful, with sexual abuse being linked with dissociation and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Depersonalization, a dissociative subtype characterized by disconnection between oneself and one’s body and/or thoughts, may further explain the role of dissociation in NSSI. The purpose of the current study was to: 1) isolate the impact of adolescent sexual abuse on NSSI; and 2) examine depersonalization as a pathway between high betrayal adolescent sexual abuse and NSSI. Participants (N = 192) were college students who completed online measures assessing sexual abuse, dissociation, and NSSI. While controlling for child sexual abuse and adult sexual abuse, adolescent sexual abuse predicted NSSI. Moreover, there was an indirect effect of high betrayal adolescent sexual abuse on NSSI through depersonalization, while controlling for child sexual abuse, adult sexual abuse, and medium betrayal (perpetrator: unclose other) adolescent sexual abuse. Findings from the current study have implications for relational cultural therapy as an evidence-informed treatment that highlights the relational harm of interpersonal trauma, while incorporating contextual elements, such as development of maladaptive coping strategies, into therapy.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

Betrayal trauma theory;NSSI;adolescence;depersonalization;dissociation;nonsuicidal self-injury;self-harm;sexual abuse

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