“My Reality is Just Different From Yours, That Doesn’t Mean I’m Crazy.” Exploring the Impact of Childhood Emotional Abuse on Adult Emotional Adjustment

Claira Newton, Helen Gavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Childhood emotional abuse (CEA) is a pervasive set of destructive
behaviors that has negative effects lasting into adulthood.
In order to examine these negative effects, it is important to
determine the links between CEA and adult adjustment, i.e.,
how various forms of abuse are dealt with by the recipients,
and how effective different coping strategies are. A small-scale
online survey was developed that included questions designed
to elicit both qualitative and quantitative data, to facilitate the
collection of rich and useful data, while maintaining participant
anonymity. The survey was disseminated via social media and
a number of charitable organizations working with adult victims
of child abuse. Using qualitative and quantitative analytical
procedures, research findings suggested how childhood
experiences of emotional abuse impact on adulthood. The
findings also exposed a potentially effective coping strategy
that could be incorporated into practice settings. The identified
coping strategy, reading was reported as effective when
employed in both childhood and adulthood and may help
clients cope with abusive experiences.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Early online date9 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2018

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Social Media
Social Adjustment
Child Abuse
Reading
Organizations
Research
Surveys and Questionnaires
Emotional Adjustment

Cite this

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abstract = "Childhood emotional abuse (CEA) is a pervasive set of destructivebehaviors that has negative effects lasting into adulthood.In order to examine these negative effects, it is important todetermine the links between CEA and adult adjustment, i.e.,how various forms of abuse are dealt with by the recipients,and how effective different coping strategies are. A small-scaleonline survey was developed that included questions designedto elicit both qualitative and quantitative data, to facilitate thecollection of rich and useful data, while maintaining participantanonymity. The survey was disseminated via social media anda number of charitable organizations working with adult victimsof child abuse. Using qualitative and quantitative analyticalprocedures, research findings suggested how childhoodexperiences of emotional abuse impact on adulthood. Thefindings also exposed a potentially effective coping strategythat could be incorporated into practice settings. The identifiedcoping strategy, reading was reported as effective whenemployed in both childhood and adulthood and may helpclients cope with abusive experiences.",
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