Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Paul Wienir

Second Advisor

Dr. Subhash Sonnad

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Petersen

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study explored the traumatic effect of childhood incestuous abuse on the adult survivor. Eleven subjects were interviewed for this study. Hindman's (1989) trauma scale was revised, exploring issues of relationships, mental health, and living skills dysfunctions. In addition to the global score, the scale was disaggregated. Relationships between trauma and age at onset, physical and emotional violence, frequency, identification of self as victim, current relationship with offender, and response to disclosure were explored.

Several dimensions of feeling responsible were reported by victims, including feeling that there was something about them that made others victimize them, feeling responsible for protecting younger siblings, and feeling obligated to meet the offenders' needs. Previous researchers have not explored these differences. The two most prevalent outcomes of abuse cited by respondents were depression and difficulty in trusting others.

Included in

Sociology Commons