The Moderating Effect of Religion and Spirituality On the Relationship Between Childhood Sexual Abuse And Negative Outcomes Among a Sample of Orthodox Jewish Men
Fagin, C. Gabriel
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This study examined the prevalence and multi-layered impact of childhood sexual abuse of adult male victims within the Orthodox Jewish community. Specifically, the study examined how the experience of childhood sexual abuse impacts the mental health, addiction potential, and communal attitudes of respondents. Additionally, the study sought to address the possible connection between perceived levels of family and communal cohesion and a history of childhood sexual abuse. Finally, the possibility that spiritual and/or religious levels might moderate these potential impacts was explored. This study was a mixed methods design, utilizing data culled from a single questionnaire that was specifically designed for this study. Three theories were utilized: Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory, Durkheim's theory of social cohesion, and van der Kolk's theory of Complex Trauma. The study found that over one-quarter of the sample reported being abused prior to age 18 (26.5%; n=27). Second, the study showed that those individuals who were abused more frequently had the highest rates of PTSD. Third, those individuals with a history of sexual abuse show the highest rates of hypersexual activity. Fourth, religiosity did moderate the relationship between sexual abuse and hypersexual behavior. Those that showed higher levels of religiosity saw lower levels of hypersexual behavior. The study has contributed to the social work professions in several keys ways, including the realms of academic knowledge, policy, communal education, and clinical interventions.