AuthorWETMORE, RALPH HIGGINS, II.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine whether or not adults who were child incest participants exhibited greater personality adjustment problems than adults who were not child incest participants. The sample consisted of undergraduate students of The University of Arizona who had volunteered to participate in the study. Each student completed the Personal Orientation Inventory as a measure of personality adjustments, and a questionnaire adapted from the David Finkelhor Questionnaire, which placed each respondent into one of four groups. Group 1 respondents reported having had a childhood sexual experience with another child (a friend or a sibling). Group 2 respondents reported having had a childhood sexual experience with an adult who was not a family member. Group 3 respondents, the child incest participants, reported having had a childhood sexual experience with an adult who was a family member. Group 4 respondents reported having had no childhood sexual experiences. The data was analyzed in two 4 x 2 factorial analyses of variance. The P.O.I. scale scores and subscale scores were the dependent measures of personality adjustment. The independent measures of the first analysis were group membership and gender; of the second analysis, group membership and age. No statistically significant differences among the groups were found on any of the eight P.O.I. scale scores. There were statistically significant effects due to gender on three of the eight P.O.I. scales, females tending to score higher than males. The one exception to that trend was on the Time Competent scale, on which the males of Group 3 scored higher than the females of Group 3. Although that reversal trend occurred, there were no statistically significant interaction effects between group membership and gender. There were statistically significant effects due to age on two of the eight P.O.I. scales, older persons tending to score higher than younger persons. The one exception to this trend was on the Spontaneity subscale, on which the younger persons of Group 4 scored higher than the older persons. This reversal did result in a statistically significant interaction effect between group membership and age. The results of this study, although limited in scope, indicate that not all adults who were child incest participants exhibit greater personality adjustment problems than adults who were not child incest participants.
Degree ProgramCounseling and Guidance