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Parental Sociopathy as a Predictor of Childhood Sexual Abuse
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Research on childhood sexual abuse has often examined, in isolation of one another, such highly correlated risk factors as parental substance abuse, domestic violence, and pathological family functioning. Investigating comorbid antecedents separately does not allow accurate specification of the predictors of abuse. Moreover, sexual trauma research has tended to neglect parental sociopathy as a risk factor. Given the limitations of past research, the present study examined the relationships among parental sociopathy, parental substance use, marital violence, poor family functioning, and childhood sexual abuse. We administered a battery of questionnaires to a nonclinical sample of 130 college women and replicated previous findings by showing that parental substance use predicted sexual abuse when examined in isolation. However, when parental sociopathy and the other risk factors were included in a regression model, parental sociopathy was the only significant predictor. Mother's and father's sociopathy predicted sexual abuse independently and when combined.