Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. C. Thresa Yancey


Adult perceptions greatly affect children, especially those most in need of help (e.g., children with sexual abuse histories (CSA); children with disabilities). It is important to examine how these perceptions can shape children’s lives. This study investigated adults’ perceptions to further understand views of children with CSA and disabilities. Children with histories of disabilities, compared to CSA or “normal” backgrounds, were perceived as having more externalizing behaviors. Children labeled with CSA were perceived to have more internalizing symptoms (compared to both “disabled” and “normal” and less competence (compared to “normal”). Further results are discussed.