Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria C. Dinis, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Second Advisor

Joe Clubb, M.S.W., LICSW

Third Advisor

Deloris Selland, L.P., LICSW


Sexual violations perpetrated upon children disrupt the normative development of interpersonal relationships throughout adulthood. This hermeneutic, qualitative study analyzed three adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Survivors of past sexual abuse experience posttraumatic effects, emotional scars, and unstable relationships built on minimal trust, leaving adults with thoughts of inadequacy in interpersonal relationships. Implications for Social Work practice and policy are to recognize and validate the protective coping mechanisms used by adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, influence change in their therapy, and provide new skills to maintain healthy relationships.

This study attempts to discover, discuss, and interpret the effects that childhood sexual abuse has had on the adult relationships of three women, and to discover what the implications are for social workers that work with female adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Weise.T

Included in

Social Work Commons