Attitudes and personality traits of female adult victims of childhood abuse: A comparison of university students and incarcerated women

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Paul M. Valliant
Lesa L. Maksymchuk
Daniel Antonowicz
Cite this article:  Valliant, P., Maksymchuk, L., & Antonowicz, D. (1995). Attitudes and personality traits of female adult victims of childhood abuse: A comparison of university students and incarcerated women. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 23(2), 205-216.


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A survey of 39 University undergraduate female students and 13 incarcerated female victims was undertaken to investigate the personality traits of victims of sexual abuse. The university population was comprised of 24 non-victims and 15 victims. A comparison of the three groups was completed with a battery of psychometric tests examining personality style, and a survey of their attitudes toward sexual offenders. Significant differences emerged on trait and state anxiety; on clinical scales of the MMPI, and the hostility scale of the Suicide Probability Scale. There was unanimous agreement among all three groups surveyed (100%) that sex offenders should receive treatment. Moreover, there was also a consensus amongst university students (100%) that sex offenders should be incarcerated for two years or more, whereas only 53.8% of incarcerated victims considered a sentence of two or more years appropriate.
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