The Amsterdam Sexual Abuse Case: What Scars did it Leave? Long-Term Course of Psychological Problems for Children Who have been Sexually Abused at a Very Young Age, and their Parents

Vionna M.W. Tsang*, Eva Verlinden, Esther M. van Duin, Jos W.R. Twisk, Sonja N. Brilleslijper-Kater, Maj R. Gigengack, Arnoud P. Verhoeff, Ramón J.L. Lindauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Longitudinal research of CSA in infancy and early childhood is scarce. The current study examined the long-term course of psychological outcomes (PTSD, dissociation and internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems) in children who were sexually abused in the early childhood. Additionally, we looked into the outcomes for their parents by assessing PTSD symptoms and negative emotional reactions towards the sexual abuse of their child. We examined the outcomes for five consecutive years in a sample of children (n = 45) who were sexually abused at a very young age (0–3) and their parents (n = 42), included in the Amsterdam Sexual Abuse Case-study. We found that outcomes following CSA in early childhood go beyond PTSD symptoms and can manifest in atypical symptoms such as behavioral problems. Parents experienced persistent PTSD in the years following CSA disclosure. CSA in very young children warrants long-term monitoring, as negative outcomes still present 8 years later.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-902
Number of pages12
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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