Date of Award

1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Anne P. DePrince

Second Advisor

Jenny Erickson Cornish

Keywords

child abuse, development of psychopathology, intergenerational transmission of trauma, parent-child relationship, trauma-related cognitions

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to elucidate cognitive and behavioral mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transmission of trauma from abuse-survivor mothers to their toddler/preschool-aged children. This study investigated whether maternal trauma-related cognitions, i.e. child abuse-related appraisals (betrayal, self-blame, fear, anger, shame, alienation), disorganized memory and intrusive memory for abuse were associated with toddler internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and whether mother-child dysfunctional interactions mediated these relationships among a sample of 113 mothers who survived child abuse. When controlling for maternal trauma symptoms, maternal child abuse-related appraisals, disorganized memory, and trauma symptoms predicted toddler internalizing symptoms, whereas maternal intrusive memory and trauma symptoms predicted toddler externalizing symptoms. Maternal child abuse-related appraisals and disorganized memory were also associated with more dysfunction in the mother-child relationship. Higher levels of maternal shame were associated with more toddler internalizing and externalizing symptoms. More betrayal but less fear among abuse-survivor mothers was associated with toddler externalizing symptoms. These findings provide preliminary evidence in support of maternal trauma-related cognitions as mechanisms for the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Rebecca Lynne Babcock Fenerci

File size

48 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Psychology, Clinical psychology

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