Use of “Temas” with patients referred for sexual abuse: Case studies of Puerto Rican children

TitleUse of “Temas” with patients referred for sexual abuse: Case studies of Puerto Rican children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCardalda, EB, Constantino, G, Sayers, S, Machado, W, Guzmán, L
JournalRevista Puertorriqueña de Psicología

Child sexual abuse is an area that has received considerable attention, but is largely underreported because of stigma. In adittion, in the clinical setting, sexual abuse tends to be under detected because there is a paucity of valid assessment techniques. Effective treatment of the sexually abused victims requires an understanding of the underlying dynamics associated with the trauma and an adequate treatment planning which fully addresses those dynamics. In Puerto Rico there are difficulties in conducting adequate treatments because there is a lack of culturally sensitive/competent instruments to assess the impact of sexuak abuse on children´s personality, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Based on these needs, we utilized the adaptation of the TEMAS (Telle-Me-A-Story), a culturally sensitive narrative/projective test as a secreening instrument. Five (5) children , ages 7-9, were recruited during the early phase of this program from a sexual abuse program in San Juan. Results showed slow reactions times, lengthy total time narrations, limited understanding of conflict resolutions, partial maladapatations in interpersonal relations, and inappropiate affects. Analyses of the TEMAS narratives revealed that children present problems that are similar to the \"damaged good syndrome\" described in the literature.