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Vulnerable adolescent participants' experience in surveys on sexuality and sexual abuse: Ethical aspects.

Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 438-447
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect
Volym: 34
Nummer: 6
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Pergamon


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research was to study the discomfort experienced by adolescents when answering questions in a survey about sexuality and sexual abuse and to investigate factors that may determine possible experience of discomfort. The research focused particularly on vulnerable adolescents-sexually abused and sexually inexperienced. METHOD: Adolescents in their final year of high school in Estonia (n=1,334) and Sweden (n=3,401) who had completed a survey about experiences of sexuality and sexual abuse answered additional questions about experiences of discomfort related to the survey questions. RESULTS: A majority of the participants did not feel discomfort when completing the survey. This was also the case for the two vulnerable groups. Experience of penetrating sexual abuse, sexual inexperience, mental health problems, rape myth acceptance, gender, immigrant background, and country were included in a structural equation model. Experience of penetrating sexual abuse was not significantly related to discomfort in the final model, while sexual inexperience was associated with increased discomfort (standardized coefficient .20) and rape myth acceptance was the strongest indicator of discomfort (.27). The total amount of explained variance was 17%. CONCLUSIONS: Our data do not support the view that adolescents in general or vulnerable subgroups such as sexually abused or sexually inexperienced adolescents experience discomfort when answering a survey about sexuality and sexual abuse. As discomfort ratings were not highly related to any of the predictors further research is needed that includes other factors. It is important to follow existing ethical guidelines since there may always be some individuals who feel discomfort.


  • Sociology
  • Adolescents
  • Research participation
  • Ethics
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexuality


  • ISSN: 1873-7757

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