Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Beverly White, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Bromberg, Psy.D.


A well-documented connection exists between child sexual abuse and psychological symptoms that may persist into adulthood. Because of the significant public health implications of child sexual abuse, it is critical to examine the many variables related to such a potentially traumatic event, including its psychological effects and effects on gender, so that treatment providers are able to gain a better understanding of how males and females are affected by their abuse experiences. This study examined the role of gender on psychological symptoms in a largely understudied population of inner city African American children; it also examined gender roles regarding the display of sexual behaviors. Diverse variables, such as number of perpetrators and duration of abuse were also examined. Although gender was not found to be clinically significant in psychological outcome or in the display of sexual behaviors, trends suggested that gender may still play a role in symptomatology and in display of sexually reactive behavior. The number of perpetrators was found to play a role in psychological symptoms when controlling for gender. The results of this study have important implications for the assessment and treatment interventions for children.