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Contextos Clínicos

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FONSECA, Ana Carolina de Souza; FERREIRA, Luiza Santos; ZIMMER, Marilene  and  PALUDO, Simone dos Santos. Affect and emotion regulation in children with and without sexual abuse history. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2021, vol.14, n.2, pp.487-510. ISSN 1983-3482.

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a risk factor for the emergence of emotional difficulties. As such, the aim of this study was to investigate the positive and negative affect and emotion regulation of children aged 8 to 12 victims of sexual abuse (G-CSA) and their peers without history of abuse (G-Non-CSA). Of the twenty-six participating children, 12 experienced at least one episode of sexual abuse during the life, while the other 14 were not victimized. Sociodemographic Questionnaire, Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire, Positive and Negative Affect Scale and Test of Emotion Comprehension were used. The results showed that the negative affect of children victims of sexual abuse was higher comparing with participants from the other group, shame, anger, nervousness and sadness were the most reported emotions. Regarding emotional regulation, it was found that G-CSA used more frequently regulatory strategies considered inappropriate for their age when compared to the G-Non-CSA. The results suggest that exposure to CSA may contribute in differences in the emotional responses expressed by children. The knowledge of these possible impacts is essential for the development of clinical interventions aligned to the needs of victims and based on evidence.

Keywords : child sexual abuse; affect; emotion regulation.

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