The abuse-related beliefs questionnaire for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Karni Ginzburg*, Bruce Arnow, Stacey Hart, William Gardner, Cheryl Koopman, Catherine C. Classen, Janine Giese-Davis, David Spiegel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the psychometric properties of a new measure, the Abuse-Related Beliefs Questionnaire (ARBQ), designed to assess abuse-related beliefs among adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Study 1 examined the structure of the scale, and Study 2 evaluated its reliability and validity. Method: One hundred and seventy female CSA survivors recruited into a group psychotherapy intervention study were administered the ARBQ in Study 1. A subsample of 45 women completed the ARBQ again 12 months later. In Study 2, 70 women from a health maintenance organization who identified themselves as survivors of CSA completed the ARBQ along with the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 (TSC-40) and the Symptom Checklist 90R (SCL-90-R). Results: Three reliable ARBQ subscales emerged in Study 1: Guilt, Shame, and Resilience. Twelve-month test-retest reliability was high (r = .60-.64). The internal consistency of the subscales was further supported in Study 2, and validity was demonstrated by moderate to high correlations with the distress measures. Conclusions: The results indicate that the ARBQ has good psychometric characteristics, supporting the feasibility of its use in measuring abuse-related beliefs in research on survivors of CSA. A next step for validation of the ARBQ would be to evaluate its sensitivity in measuring changes in studies of interventions for treating CSA survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-943
Number of pages15
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthR01MH052134, MH60556


    • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
    • Guilt
    • Shame
    • Stigma


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