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September/October 2001Vol. 2, No. 5New Data Set Available to Researchers on Mothers Sexually Abused in Childhood

The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) has released a new data set entitled "Parenting Among Women Sexually Abused in Childhood," which is available to researchers for secondary analysis.

The original study, conducted by Mary I. Benedict, Ph.D., examined the direct and indirect impacts of childhood sexual abuse on maternal attitudes, perceptions, and behavior. The data file contains 265 cases of new mothers who were initially interviewed during their third trimesters between the fall of 1990 and early 1992. Follow-up interviews were conducted when their children were between 2- and 4-years-old. In the first round of interviews, 40 percent reported having been sexually abused before the age of 18.

Variables measuring parenting outcomes in the follow-up study included:

  • Child-rearing competence, satisfaction, and efficacy
  • Parenting stress
  • Discipline practices
  • Family functioning.

Variables measuring possible mediating factors between a history of sexual abuse and parenting practices included:

  • Education, occupation, income, family structure
  • Current physical and mental health, particularly symptoms of depression
  • Perceived current stresses unrelated to parenting
  • Current family violence or sexual victimization
  • Parental sense of mastery.

Information about the data set and ordering instructions are available online at:

Contact information:

National Data Archive on Child Abuse & Neglect
Family Life Development Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-7799