Thirty-eight graduate students enrolled in mental health-related programs completed the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) indicating anticipated impact of adult-child sexual contact on the psychological status of a young adult woman from positive family environment and one from a negative family environment. BSI subscale scores were significantly higher than the BSI general population’s mean scores in both cases. Multiple regression analyses found that: in the healthy family scenario, practitioners’ background variables (parent education, family of origin climate, prior childhood sexual contact with an adult, and education) did not contribute significantly to the variance in their prediction of expectation of client’s overall psychological distress; and, in the dysfunctional family case, practitioners’ background (childhood experience with adult sexual contact, education level, and professional experience) contributed to 40% of the variance in their prediction of the client’s emotional state. Results of qualitative analyses are presented, and implications for training and service delivery discussed.



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