*Matté-Landry A, Paquette G, Lapalme M, Daigneault I, Tourigny M. (2022). Addressing the complexity of heterogeneity: profiles of adolescent girls who have been sexually abused. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. 31(7): 855-873.
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may have devastating effects, yet, there is considerable heterogeneity among adolescent girls who have experienced it. Addressing this heterogeneity could help to tailor practices to their particular needs. The objective was to identify profiles among adolescent girls who have been sexually abused to determine whether they exhibit distinct outcomes. Participants were drawn from a Child Protection sample of adolescent girls who have been sexually abused with contact (n = 185). Abuse and stressful events were measured using a rating scale completed by a research assistant, and a self-reported questionnaire. Coping strategies, cognitive appraisals, and psychological symptoms were measured using self-reported questionnaires. Latent class analysis was conducted using abuse and stressful events as indicators, and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to compare classes on outcomes. Five graded classes were identified: 1) few source of stress (22%); 2) services as stressors (27%); 3) CSA as stressor (19%); 4) CSA and family as stressors (6%); and 5) multiple sources of stress (25%). These classes were associated with distinct profiles on coping strategies, cognitive appraisals, and psychological symptoms. In conclusion, we recommend that clinicians move beyond the “one size fits all” approach and tailor practices to each adolescent’s needs.