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Esman, A.H. (2011). The Long Shadow of Sexual Abuse: Developmental Effects across the Life Cycle. By Calvin A. Colarusso. Latham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2010. 201 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 80(3):777-779.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 80(3):777-779

The Long Shadow of Sexual Abuse: Developmental Effects across the Life Cycle. By Calvin A. Colarusso. Latham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2010. 201 pp.

Review by:
Aaron H. Esman

Sexual abuse and molestation of children have in recent years erupted into a major international issue following widely publicized scandals in the Catholic Church. The evident traumatic impact of such experiences would seem to support Freud's early theories of pathogenesis, and underline the rebukes of critics who have taken him to task for his abandonment of the seduction hypothesis.

In the present book, Colarusso, a prominent child analyst, sets out to detail the profound and lifelong developmental damage resulting from these early traumata. His evidence base is a multitude of diagnostic evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults, male and female, whom he has studied in the course of serving as an expert witness in civil actions brought against the perpetrators of such crimes. None of the patients cited has he treated; thus, for the most part, his assessments are cross-sectional rather than longitudinal in nature. He offers detailed accounts of these assessments, including his at times tortured efforts to fit his appraisals into the Procrustean beds of DSM-IV classification (e.g., Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).

The book is divided into sections based on the ages of the subjects when presented to Colarusso for study.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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