Child sexual abuse and literacy achievement in a sample of South African primary school children

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated child sexual abuse (CSA) and literacy achievement among South African primary school children. Data on self-reported experience of CSA and actual literacy achievement were collected from a convenience sample of 160 learners from a Soweto school in Johannesburg. The literacy tests measured five domains of reading and spelling competencies. The results show a statistically significant relationship between CSA and literacy scores, with learners who were sexually abused scoring significantly lower on the literacy tests used in this study. Specifically, learners with CSA experience performed noticeably lower in the real word test, followed by spelling, words spelt correctly, reading fluency, and non-word spelling. School psychologists could adopt a social justice framework in providing psychological and literacy support for children who are sexually abused.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-283
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Psychology in Africa
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • child sexual abuse
  • literacy achievement
  • literacy tests
  • quantitative study
  • relationship
  • school psychologists
  • sexual molestation
  • social justice
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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