Risk factors for child sexual abuse victimization: A meta-analytic review.

Experiencing child sexual abuse (CSA) is a major public health problem with serious consequences for CSA victims. For effective assessment and (preventive) intervention, knowledge on risk factors and their effects is crucial. Here, the aim was to synthesize research on associations between (putative) risk factors and CSA victimization. In total, 765 (putative) risk factors were extracted from 72 studies, which were classified into 35 risk domains. A series of three-level meta-analyses produced a significant mean effect for 23 of the 35 risk domains ranging from r = .101 to r = .360. The strongest effects were found for prior victimization of the child and/or its family members, such as prior CSA victimization of the child and/or siblings (r = .360), prior victimization of the child other than child abuse (r = .340), prior or concurrent forms of child abuse in the child’s home environment (r = .267), and a parental history of child abuse victimization (r = .265). Other identified risks were related to parental problems (e.g., intimate partner violence, r = .188), parenting problems (e.g., low quality of parent—child relation, r = .292), a non-nuclear family structure (e.g., having a stepfather, r = .118), family problems (e.g., social isolation, r = .191), child problems (e.g., having a mental/physical chronic condition, r = .193), and other child characteristics (e.g., being female, r = .290). Moderator analyses suggested that contact CSA victimization may be better predicted than noncontact CSA victimization. It was concluded that an ecological perspective on preventing CSA victimization is necessary. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)