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Barbara Palomino deVelasco


One form of child abuse is childhood sexual assault (CSA). A gap in the literature exists concerning how adult survivors of childhood sexual assault (ASCSA) experience parenting their children during their exploration of sex. This descriptive phenomenological study was designed to explore the lived experiences of ASCSA parents helping their children explore sex. Attachment theory provided the conceptual framework. Data were collected from questionnaires completed by 5 participants recruited through websites offering supportive services to adults who experienced CSA. Gregorio’s steps of phenomenological analysis were used to analyze the data. Results indicated two themes regarding the perception of parenting skills: insecure and overprotective. Parenting strategy themes were nonphysical punishment, communication, and overinvolvement. Support resources themes were none, signs, friends, and external comparison. Parental attachment themes were strained, indifferent, and mixed. Significant other attachment themes were good, strong, turbulent, and nonexistent. ASCSA parent-child attachment themes were complicated, best ever, and close. Findings may be used to develop practical and supportive interventions, strategies, and accommodations for ASCSA parents when talking to their children about sex.

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