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Abuse in Families of the Church Community:
A Study of Lutheran and Baptist Clergy and Theological Students in Australia.



A survey of 128 Baptist and Lutheran Clergy, Theological Students and their spouses was conducted to assess the extent of abuse among those in the Clergy and preparing for ministry.  A total 12% of men and women reported that they had experienced abused by someone close to them in their adult life, 12.7% reported abuse in childhood and a further 13. 5% reported experiencing abuse both as adults and children.  While some of this abuse had occurred in the past, 26% of the abuse was reported to have occurred in the past 12 months, 87. 5% had occurred on more than one occasion and 64% was considered as serious or somewhat serious.  Of those identified as adult abuser, 16% were members of the clergy.  A further group of former Clergy and their spouses, was also asked to participate.  The proportion of former to present clergy who had experienced abuse was significant (X (1) = 35.25, p<.0001). The nature of a link between experience of abuse, anger expression, locus of control and marital adjustment was explored.  A discriminant analysis separating abused subjects on the time of abuse, classified 92% of subjects accurately.



Coral J. Palmer




Research conducted under the supervision of Patricia Noller and Len Dalgleish of

The University of Queensland.

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