Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Christina Brown, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Marcia Pita, Ph.D.


The parental response to children's disclosure of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is the most critical and important factor regarding the child's post trauma trajectory and overall trauma resolution. Understanding parental responses and the factors that prompt acceptance versus disbelief among the non-offending parent (NOP) is vital to children's success following disclosure given the weight of the NOPs response and its impact on long-term consequences of CSA. This literature review provides a comprehensive summary of what may deter the NOP from recognizing intrafamilial sexual abuse, factors that may contribute to the NOPs disbelief following disclosure, and possible clinical implications of such information. It was found that there may be several deterrents regarding recognizing CSA such as the child's presentation during periods of abuse, the perpetrator's grooming techniques, socioeconomic factors, and the presence of maladaptive coping skills among the NOP. Further, several possible factors that contribute to the NOPs disbelief following the child's disclosure were identified such as the NOPs relationship with the perpetrator, the NOP-child relationship, the NOPs mental health and degree of functioning, and the child's decision not to disclose.