Child sexual abuse as reported by Israeli adolescents: Social and health related correlates

Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld, Anneke Ifrah, Alan Apter, Ilana Farbstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The objectives of the study were to assess the prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) in a nation-wide representative sample of 14-17 year old Israeli adolescents, and to examine the associations between CSA, socio-demographic correlates and various measures of physical and mental health. The study population consisted of 906 mother-adolescent dyads, belonging to a community based, representative sample of Israeli 14-17 year olds, interviewed in 2004-5. Response rate was 68%. Subjects provided demographic data, and information about CSA, physical symptoms, body image, well-being and use of mental health services. DAWBA was used to obtain information regarding mental disorders and suicidality. SDQ was used to obtain data on bullying. Statistical analyses were conducted using an SPSS-17 complex sample analysis module and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the associations between CSA and risk factors and social and health related correlates. Findings show that CSA was reported by 3.3% of adolescents. Higher risk of exposure to CSA was found among girls, among adolescents living in a one-parent household and among adolescents with a chronic disability. In multivariate models adjusting for gender, learning disabilities and depression, CSA was associated with suicidal attempts, stomach ache, dizziness, sleep problems, well being at home and bullying behaviors. No association was found with suicidal ideation or other physical symptoms. Our findings confirm that the associations between CSA and different outcomes vary depending on the socio-psychological context, and underline the importance of addressing the complexity of variables associated with CSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-80
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This survey was supported by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research , the Association for Planning and Development of Services for Children and Youth at Risk and their Families (ASHALIM) , the Englander Center for Children and Youth and the Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem, Israel , and the Rotter Foundation of the Maccabi Health Services, Israel. The authors wish to thank Irina Radomislensky for statistical advice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Adolescents
  • CSA
  • Health correlates
  • Risk factors


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