This paper presents a discussion of the relationship between attribution models of self-blame and coping strategies among members of incest families. The findings suggest that incest victims are more likely to experience prolonged post-traumatic stress than are offenders and their spouses. The argument is made that by focusing on individual adjustment, therapy programs may be neglecting the interactive effect of attributions made by other family members, the legal system and outside observers. The author concludes by suggesting that a sociological model in which the relationship between social reactions to incest and attributions is addressed would enhance the effectiveness of self-help treatment programs intended to reduce victim stress.

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