Do child abuse and maternal care interact to predict military sexual trauma? Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The present research tested the hypothesis that maternal care moderates the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent military sexual trauma (MST). METHOD: Measures of childhood sexual abuse, maternal care, and MST were administered to 197 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. RESULTS: After accounting for gender, age, and the main effects of maternal care and childhood sexual abuse, the maternal care x childhood sexual abuse interaction was a significant predictor of MST (odds ratio = .28, = -1.26, 95% confidence intervals of .10, .80). As hypothesized, rates of MST were higher among veterans who reported childhood sexual abuse and low levels of maternal care (43%) compared with veterans who reported childhood sexual abuse and high levels of maternal care (11%). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that high levels of maternal care may act as a protective factor against future revictimization among military service members. These findings have the potential to inform both prevention and intervention efforts.

published proceedings

  • J Clin Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Wilson, L. C., Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., Young, K. A., & Morissette, S. B.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Wilson, Laura C||Kimbrel, Nathan A||Meyer, Eric C||Young, Keith A||Morissette, Sandra B

publication date

  • January 2015