Demographics, Risk Factors, and Negative Historical Events of Inpatients with a History of Sexual Abuse


  • Julie Anne Laser University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
  • Dr Granger Petersen
  • Haily Stephens
  • David DeRito
  • Dr Jennifer A. Boeckel



History of Sexual Abuse; Inpatient Mental Hospital; Risk Factors; Negative Historical Events


The purpose of this research is to better understand how those who have experienced a mental hospital inpatient stay are influenced by a history of sexual abuse. Both risk factors and negative historical events were investigated between those who had a sexual abuse history in an inpatient hospital and those in the inpatient hospital who did not have a sexual abuse history. It was found that sexual abuse exerts a profound influence on those in the mental hospital. For example, a sexual abuse history for inpatient men was twice the national average and over 4x the national average for inpatientwomen. Additionally, many of the risk factors and negative events were significantly different between the two inpatient sub-samples. It was also found that a sexual abuse history was related to more hospital stays and longer overall time in the hospital. It is hoped that this research can make a major contribution to improving trauma informed care with this population so that a history of sexual abuse does not undermine their well-being throughout their life span.


Amado, B.G., Arce, R., & Herraiz, A. (2015). Psychological injury in victims of child sexual abuse: A meta-analytic review. Psychosocial Intervention, 24, 49–62. doi 10.1016/j.psi.2015.03.002
Barnes, J.E., Noll, J.G., Putnam, F.W., & Trickett, P. K. (2009). Sexual and physical revictimization among victims of severe childhood sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33, 412–420. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.09.013
Briere, J., Dietrich, A. & Agee, E. (2015). Cumulative trauma and current PTSD status in general population and inmate samples. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 8(4), 439-446Retrieved from
urrent_PTSD_status_in_general_population_and_inmate_samples and_current_PTSD_status_in_general_population_and_inmate_samples
CDC. (2016). Developmental Disabilities. Retrieved from
CDC. (2016). Traumatic brain injuries in prisons and jails: An unrecognized problem. Retrieved from
Census 2000 Profile, State Census Profile, (2002). Retrieved from
Chard, K.M., Weaver, T.L. & Resnick, P.A. (2007). Adapting cognitive processing therapy for child sexual abuse survivors. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice4(1) 31–52.
Child Trends. (2016). Child maltreatment indicators on children and youth. September 2016. Retrieved from

Comer, R. (2010). Abnormal Psychology. (7th ed.).. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Cutajar, M.C., Mullen, P. E., Ogloff, J. R., Thomas, S. D., Wells, D. L. & Spataro, J. (2010). Psychopathology in a large cohort of sexually abused children followed up to 43 years. Child Abuse & Neglect 34. 813–822. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.04.004
FBI. (2011). Crimes in the U.S. 2011 table 43. Retrieved from

Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., & Turner, H. (2009). Lifetime assessment of poly- victimization in a national sample of children and youth. Child Abuse Neglect, 33 (7), 403-411.doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.09.012
Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., & Turner, H. (2007). Re-victimization patterns in a national longitudinal sample of children and youth. Child Abuse Neglect, 31(5), 479-502. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.03.012
Finkelhor. D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H., & Hamby, S. L. (2005). The victimization of children and youth: A comprehensive, national survey. Child Maltreatment, 10 (1), 5-25. doi: 10.1177/1077559504271287
Friedman, M. J., Resick, P. A., Bryant, R., Strain, J., Horowitz, M., & Spiegel, D. (2011).

Classification of trauma and stressor-related disorders in DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety, 28, 737-749. doi: 10.1002/da.20845
Gibson, L.E., Alloy, L.B. & Ellman, L.M. (2016). Trauma and the psychosis spectrum: A review of symptom specificity and explanatory mechanisms. Clinical Psychology Review, 49, 92–105.
Kessler, R.C., Borges, G. Walters, E.E. (1999). Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry. 56(7), 617-626. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.56.7.617
Klonsky, E.D., Oltmanns, T.F. & Turkheimer, E. (2003). Deliberate self-harm in a nonclinical population: Prevalence and psychological correlates. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1501- 1508.
Lahav, Y. & Elklit, A. (2016). The cycle of healing- Dissociation and attachment during treatment of CSA Survivors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 60, 67–76.
Laser, J. & Nicotera, N. (2011). Working with adolescents: A practitioner’s guide. New York, NY: Guilford.
Leary, P. J. (2009). Men who were sexually abused in childhood: Coping strategies and comparisons in psychological functioning. Child Abuse & Neglect 33. 471–479. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2009.02.004
Masten, A. (2014). Ordinary magic: Resilience in development. New York, NY: Guilford.
McCauley, H. L., Dick, R. N., Tancredi, D. J., Goldstein, S., Blackburn, S., Silverman, J. G., Monasterio, E., James, L., & Miller, E. (2014).Differences by sexual minority status in relationship abuse and sexual reproductive health among adolescent females. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55. 652-658. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506056
Melson, G.F. (2013). Do mass killers start out harming pets? Psychology Today.
Retrieved from
Menning, C. L. & Holtzman, M. (2014). Process and patterns in gay,
lesbian, and bisexual sexual assault: A multimethodological assessment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(6). 1071-1093. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506056
NAMI. (2016). Mental Health by the Numbers. Retrieved from By-the-Numbers

Powers, A., Fani, N., Cross, D., Ressler, K.J. & Bradley, B. (2016). Childhood trauma, PTSD, and psychosis: Findings from a highly traumatized, minority sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 58, 111–118.
Shack, A.V., Averill, P. M., Kopecky, C., Krajewski, K., Gummattira, P. (2004). Prior history of physical and sexual abuse among the psychiatric inpatient population: A comparison of males and females. Psychiatric Quarterly, 75(4). 342-359. doi: 10.1023/B:PSAQ.0000043510.41919.55
Stinson, J.D., Quinn, M.A. & Levenson, J.S. (2016). The impact of trauma on the onset of mental health symptoms, aggression, and criminal behavior in an
inpatient psychiatric sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 61. 13–22.
Thienhaus, O.J. & Piasecki, M. (1998). Assessment of psychiatric patients’ risk of violence toward others. Psychiatric Services, 49 (9,) 1129-1130.
Trickett, P.K. & McBride-Chang, C. (1995). The developmental impact of different forms of abuse and neglect. Developmental Review, 15, 311-337.
Townsend, C. & Rheingold, A. (2013). Estimating a Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence Rate for Practitioners: A Review of Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence Studies. Charleston, S.C.: Darkness to Light. Retrieved from
Topitzes, J., Pate, D. J., Berman, N. D. & Medina-Kirchner, C. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences, health, and employment: A study of men seeking job services. Child Abuse & Neglect, 61, 23–34 DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.09.01
Ullman, S. & Filipas, H.H. (2005). Gender differences in social reactions to abuse disclosures, post-abuse coping, and PTSD of child sexual abuse survivors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29, 767–782. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.01.005
Ullman, S., Townsend, S. T., Filipas, H.H., &. Starzynski, L. L. (2007). Structural models of the relations of assault severity, social support, avoidance coping, self- blame, and PTSD among sexual assault survivors. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(1), 23-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2007.00328.x
United States Census Bureau. (2016). State quick facts. Retrieved from
United States Department of Health and Human Services (2014) Child maltreatment.

Retrieved from:
United States Department of Veterans Affairs (2016) Veteran population. Retrieved from
University College London. (2013, April 18). Learning disabilities affect up to 10 percent of children. Science Daily. Retrieved from
Walsh, K., Fortier. M.A., DiLillo, D. (2010). Adult coping with childhood sexual abuse: A theoretical and empirical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15, 1–13. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2009.06.009
World (2016). Number of sex offenders by state. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Laser, J. A., Petersen, G., Stephens, H., DeRito, D., & Boeckel, J. (2019). Demographics, Risk Factors, and Negative Historical Events of Inpatients with a History of Sexual Abuse. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(10), 184–194.