Abuse Awareness: Physical and Psychological Health Consequences

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Title: Abuse Awareness: Physical and Psychological Health Consequences
Author: Goldsmith, R.E.; Freyd, Jennifer J.; DePrince, Anne P.
Abstract: Despite established links between child abuse and psychological symptoms such as depression, dissociation, and anxiety, many abuse survivors experience awareness of specific abuse instances or abuse-related symptoms without acknowledging the abuse itself. The current study examines relations among abuse awareness, physical symptoms, and emotional functioning in young adults. One hundred eighty-five university students responded to questions regarding perceptions of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as standard abuse and symptom measures. Ninety-six individuals completed the questionnaire a second time 1-2 years later. At baseline, labeling oneself as having been abused was not correlated with depression, anxiety, dissociation, or physical health complaints. At follow-up, however, labeling abuse was significantly positively related to depression, anxiety, physical health complaints, and the number of reported visits to a health professional, even after controlling for abuse severity. These results indicate that processes involved in abuse perception appear to be connected to individuals' psychological and physical functioning, and that abuse awareness may have important clinical implications.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/4321
Date: 2006-11


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