Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Janice Hayes

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lynne Hektor

Third Advisor's Name

Joan Levi

Date of Defense



There are many negative consequences of childhood sexual abuse, (Browne Finkelhor, 1990). These effects do not vanish with adulthood and some adults stay scarred for life. However, it has been noted that some victims of childhood sexual abuse recover better than others regardless of the particular type of abuse. Could this adaptation be related to, or represent "hardiness" of the adult?

The purpose of this report is to explore the hardiness of adult victims of child sexual abuse and the adaptation strategies practiced. To achieve this goal, The Health Related Hardiness Scale, created by Susan Pollock, PhD. was adopted. Data was collected from fifteen adult females who, by their own definition were sexually abused as children. They completed the HRHS questionnaire and a demographic questionnaire. Data analysis revealed a significant p-value of 0.0002 indicating that support is an important component to "buffer" the negative effects of stress. However this study revealed a high level of hardiness overall in the participating individuals




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