Psychoanalysis and child sexual abuse: A review of the post-Freudian literature

E. K. Wolf, Judith Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article reviews the post-Freudian psychoanalytic literature that focuses on child sexual abuse. Most of the articles reviewed are case presentations; there is little new theoretical work and few empirical studies. The present review focuses on the nature and effects of abuse; the parental dynamics in incestuous families; treatment issues and outcomes; and theory. The review results in the following observations: (a) Father-daughter incest is the form of abuse most frequently indicated in these articles; (b) little literature exists on the abuse of boys; (c) the effects of sexual abuse are often serious and enduring; (d) little literature exists on treatment issues, specifically whether and how analysis should be modified with the sexually abused population; (e) there is no consensus about what is curative; and (f) treatment outcomes vary widely. Although contributions to the psychoanalytic literature on child sexual abuse have increased dramatically in the last 10 years, further investigation is indicated. The article concludes with a discussion of some areas for additional work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-327
Number of pages23
JournalPsychoanalytic Psychology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

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Sexual Child Abuse
Psychoanalysis
Incest
Sex Offenses
Nuclear Family
Fathers
Consensus
Population
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Psychoanalysis and child sexual abuse : A review of the post-Freudian literature. / Wolf, E. K.; Alpert, Judith.

In: Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1991, p. 305-327.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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