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The study of the auto-aggressive behaviour in individuals who survived sexual abuse in childhood

The study of the auto-aggressive behaviour in individuals who survived sexual abuse in childhood

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Recieved: 08/13/2019

Accepted: 09/10/2019

Published: 10/20/2019

p.: 88-100

DOI: 10.11621/npj.2019.0310

Keywords: auto-aggressive behaviour; sexual abuse; eating disorders; body image

Available online: 20.10.2019

To cite this article:

Kuznetsova, Svetlana O., Enikolopov, S.N. . The study of the auto-aggressive behaviour in individuals who survived sexual abuse in childhood. // National Psychological Journal 2019. 3. p.88-100. doi: 10.11621/npj.2019.0310

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Issue 3, 2019

Kuznetsova, Svetlana O.

Enikolopov, S.N. Lomonosov Moscow State University, The Mental Health Research Center


Background. In modern psychological research, auto-aggression and self-harming behavior occupies the leading position. Many researchers point out direct correlations of childhood-related violence with later auto-aggressive behaviour and other forms of abuse.

The Objective of this research is an empirical study of the relationship between sexual abuse in childhood and subsequent eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and dissatisfaction with the body image in adulthood.

Design. The following methods have been used: the method of recording eating disorders (short form) (Morgan JF et al., 1999), The Body Satisfaction Scale, The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire: Short form (2003), The Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation Inventory (1998). The sample consisted of 113 people. Average age = 19.9 years (standard deviation = 5.2): 104 females (average age = 19.8 years, standard deviation = 5.1) and 9 males (average age = 18.6; standard deviation = 4.1).

Results. The auto-aggressors who rienced sexual abuse in childhood tend to report on other negative aspects of their experience statistically much more often (p<0.05) than auto-aggressors without sexual abuse: emotional abuse of a child by adults, emotional neglect of a child by significant adults, physical (non-sexual) violence by adults, physical neglect (abandonment of a child). The results showed that autoagressors with childhood sexual abuse more often report about eating disorders than autoagressors without sexual abuse.

Conclusions. The study focuses on the influence of childhood sexual abuse on the occurrence of self-harming behavior in adulthood, and also considers the sexual abuse as a risk factor for other negative behavioural manifestations associated with auto-aggression.The results can be used for prevention, correction and psychotherapeutic work both with children and adolescents, and also with adults.

Table 1. Type of Self-Harm




100% (n=113)


50,4% (n=57)


64, 6% (n=73)


77% (n=87)


13,3% (n=15)


36,3% (n=41)

Table 2. Frequency of Self-Harm

Frequency of Self-Harm



22,1% (n=25)


46,9% (n=53)


16,8% (n=19)

Less than once per month

14,4% (n=16)

N of types of self-harm used by 1 subject


17,7% (n=20)


19,5% (n=22)


24,8% (n=28)


12,4% (n=14)


19,5% (n=22)


6,2% (n=7)

Table 3. Mean value on the studied scales in autoagressors who survived sexual abuse in childhood and autoaggressors without sexual abuse in childhood


Autoagressors who survived sexual abuse in childhood

Autoaggressors without sexual abuse in childhood






Dissatisfaction with the image of the body






Eating Disorders






Emotional Neglect






Emotional Abuse






Physical neglect






Physical Violence







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To cite this article:

Kuznetsova, Svetlana O., Enikolopov, S.N. . The study of the auto-aggressive behaviour in individuals who survived sexual abuse in childhood. // National Psychological Journal 2019. 3. p.88-100. doi: 10.11621/npj.2019.0310

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