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Title: Sexual abuse risk in sport: Testing the ‘stage of imminent achievement’ hypothesis
Authors: Brackenridge, CH
Lindsay, I
Telfer, H
Keywords: Age; sexual abuse; risk; SIA
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the hypothetical model outlined by Brackenridge and Kirby in IRSS in 1997 (32(4): 407-418) which suggested that athlete susceptibility to grooming and sexual abuse in sport coincides with a defined stage of athletic development just prior to peak success: this period they called the ‘stage of imminent achievement’ (SIA). The model was assessed by investigating 83 cases of criminally-defined child sexual abuse within the sport context that had been reported in the print media over a period of 15 years. SIA-related hypotheses were examined in relation to athlete performance level, sex and early- and late-specialisation sport types. The majority of cases of child abuse in the sample occurred below the SIA for both males and females and with sexually abused males being three times more likely to be aged below the SIA than their female athlete victim counterparts. Age below the SIA thus appears to be a stronger predictor of the timing of sexual abuse among male athletes than females: this suggests that much more research is needed on both age and gender differences in sport-related sexual victimisation. Several limitations of the data are discussed. It is recommended that the SIA be reconceived as both a relational and a developmental construct and examined more closely in relation to the increased dependence of the athlete on their coach just as they approach a performance goal.
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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