This study examined the influence of sexual abuse history, gender, theoretical orientation, and age on beliefs about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among clinical and counseling psychologists.A mail survey design was used in this study. Participants were randomly selected from the American Psychological Association membership database. There were 615 psychologists who completed self-report measures on beliefs about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and demographic characteristics.Overall, clinicians' scores on the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse were moderate. There were significant gender differences on beliefs, suggesting that women were more likely believe that childhood sexual abuse is a common occurrence compared to men. Multiple regression analysis indicated that clinician characteristics (history of sexual abuse, gender, and theoretical orientation) were significantly related to beliefs about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse. However, these characteristics only accounted for a small amount of the overall variance predicting beliefs.These results suggest that clinicians do not hold extreme beliefs regarding the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse. Moreover, certain clinician characteristics are associated with their beliefs, which in turn, may impact their clinical judgment and treatment decisions. Furthermore, much of the variance was unaccounted for in the model indicating that psychologists' beliefs are complex and are not unduly influenced by their personal characteristics. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081643300008
View details for PubMedID 10477240