Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Submitted Version.

Lee, S., Lyvers, M., & Edwards, M. (2008) Childhood sexual abuse and substance abuse in relation to depression and coping. Journal of Substance Use, 13(5), 349-360.

Access the publisher's website.

2008 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1701

Copyright © Sonja Lee, Michael Lyvers, Mark S. Edwards, 2008


Relationships between Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), substance abuse, substance abuse relapse, depression and coping styles were examined in an Australian sample. Participants were 79 adults actively seeking treatment for substance abuse or CSA. CSA and substance use history were assessed using a purpose built questionnaire. Depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II), and coping styles were evaluated using the Coping Scale for Adults. Among substance abusers, self-reported CSA history was associated with (1) severe depression; (2) less optimistic coping; (3) longer duration of substance abuse; and (4) the use of drugs to alleviate negative moods. A non-substanceabusing CSA group was remarkably similar to the CSA substance-abusing group on all measures. Penetrative abuse, younger age at CSA onset, and lack of confidence in dealing with CSA were associated with more severe depression in CSA victims. Implications for therapy and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons



This document has been peer reviewed.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.