Date of Award

7-17-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gregory Jurkovic PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Nadine Kaslow PhD - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Christopher Henrich PhD

Fourth Advisor

Sarah Cook PhD

Abstract

There are elevated rates of childhood maltreatment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology in low-income, abused, suicidal African American women. This investigation aimed to: (1) identify the components of childhood maltreatment in this sample; (2) ascertain whether or not the constructs of childhood maltreatment and PTSD symptomatology were associated in this sample; and (3) examine if maladaptive coping mediated the childhood maltreatment-PTSD symptomatology link and if the magnitude of the mediated relationship was influenced by level of social support (i.e., moderated mediation). Specific types of childhood maltreatment generally loaded onto three components according to a principal components analysis (PCA) of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire: physical-emotional abuse, sexual-emotional abuse, and neglect. Women who endorsed experiencing higher levels of two of the childhood maltreatment components (physical-emotional abuse and sexual-emotional abuse) reported higher levels of current PTSD symptomatology. However, contrary to the study hypotheses, current level of maladaptive coping did not mediate the relationship between child maltreatment and current PTSD symptomatology. Further, the addition of social support did not change this finding. Results are discussed, clinical implications are explored, and recommendations for future studies are offered.

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Psychology Commons

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