There were two aims: first, to evaluate the feasibility of applying a standard assessment protocol to Franco-Quebec victims of child sexual abuse and nonoffending mothers; and second, to compare results from an initial sample with available data from English-speaking samples.
A standard individual case study design was used for victims and mothers; and the satisfaction of the nine participating youth workers was assessed. Four self-report instruments for victims and five for mothers were chosen on the bases of workers' priorities, sensitivity to the impact of CSA, and the availability of published norms on English-speaking samples. Results are reported on 48 confirmed victims and 40 nonoffending mothers.
The protocol was favorably received by the CPS workers, supervisors and all mothers and victims. Percentages of clinically distressed victims varied from highs of 68% on the externalization difficulties of the Child Behavior Checklist and 67% for 2- to 6-year-olds on the Child Sexual Behavior Inventory, to lows of 10% on hostility symptoms and 13% on the Dissociation Scale of the Trauma Symptom Check for Children. The rate of symptom-free children was lower (19%) and that of revictimization higher (30%) than most published estimates (Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993). Most mothers reported elevated emotional distress (depression, 59%) and symptoms of post-traumatic stress (intrusiveness, 67%). Although 87% of mothers believed the allegations, only 45% offered adequate emotional support.
The implementation phase of this research was successful, given the positive reactions of workers and clients. Results on standard instruments from this French-speaking sample were similar to profiles of English-speaking victims and their mothers but firm conclusions on appropriate norms will require larger samples, cross cultural contrasts, and the evaluation of additional variables.