A comparison of levels of denial between mothers of victims of father-daughter incest and nonincest mothers



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Texas Tech University


Father-daughter incest is a subject that only recently has begun to gain the attention of counseling research. However, the growing body of literature on incest during the past ten years is based almost solely on clinical observations as opposed to empirical evidence. Therefore there is a multitude of unanswered questions concerning causes, effects and treatment.

Clinical findings strongly suggest that denial plays a predominant role in incestuous families, especially with the mothers. In addition, the incest literature suggests that levels of denial would largely determine the duration of the incest, the extent of the victim's trauma, and the focus and outcome of treatment. This study was primarily designed to determine any differences and distinctions between levels of denial as measured by the scores of incest mothers and a matched control group of nonincest mothers on the Reversal (REV) scale of the Defense Mechanisms Inventory (DMI). In addition, differences were determined within the incest mothers group as measured by the Reversal (REV) scores of the mothers who appear to have denied the occurrence of the incest, either fully or in part, and the Reversal (REV) scores of the mothers who appear to have had no prior knowledge of the incest.



Denial, Mothers and daughters, Incest victims