Childhood sexual abuse and later-life economic consequences

Barrett, Alan and Kamiya, Yumiko and O'Sullivan, Vincent (2014) Childhood sexual abuse and later-life economic consequences. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 53. pp. 10-16. ISSN 2214-8051

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The impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on later-life health outcomes has been studied extensively and links with depression, anxiety and self-harm have been established. However, there has been relatively little research undertaken on the possible impact of CSA on later-life economic outcomes. Here, we explore whether older people who report having experienced CSA have weaker labour force attachment and lower incomes compared to other people. We use data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) which is a nationally-representative survey of people aged 50 and over. We find that male victims of CSA are almost three times more likely to be out of the labour force due to sickness and disability. They also have significantly lower incomes and are more likely to live alone. These effects remain even when we control for childhood economic circumstances, other adverse childhood events, current mental health difficulties and negative health behaviours. We do not find any effects for female victims. Among the policy implications are the need to be more aware of the complex effects of CSA when designing labour market activation strategies such as training for the unemployed. The results are also relevant in the legal context where compensation awards are determined.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? childhood sexual abuselabour force status mental healtheconomics and econometricsgeneral social sciencesapplied psychology ??
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Deposited On:
26 Aug 2014 08:14
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 14:45