Title

Sexual abuse in the preschool years: Blending ideas from object relations theory, ego psychology, and biology

Publication Date

2007

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper uses concepts from relational psychodynamic theories and findings from neurobiology to conceptualize a young child’s experience of sexual abuse. Selected developmental tasks are discussed using an integrated theoretical framework. Literature which highlights the importance of the child’s environment is reviewed. A case of a sexually abused 5-year-old girl demonstrates consequences of sexual abuse using ideas from psychodynamic theories and neurobiology. It is recommended that social work practitioners expand on the biology domain when conducting a bio-psycho-social assessment. Social work students may benefit from additional content on biology in social work curricula.

Original Citation

Lovett B.B. (2007). Sexual abuse in the preschool years: Blending ideas from object relations theory, ego psychology, and biology. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24(6), 579-589. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-007-0108-7