Childhood Abuse and Depression

Childhood Abuse and Depression - Psychology of Violence...

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Pathways From Child Sexual Abuse to Adult Depression: The Role of Parental Socialization of Emotions and Alexithymia Renu Thomas, David DiLillo, and Kate Walsh University of Nebraska—Lincoln Melissa A. Polusny Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, and University of Minnesota Medical School Objective: Depression is common among adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA), but the intervening processes responsible for this outcome have not yet been fully delineated. The present study investigated the mediating role of perceived parental emotion socialization and alexithymia (dif±culties identifying and describing feelings) in explaining the link between CSA and adult depressive symptoms in female veterans. Method: Cross-sectional data were collected from 110 female veterans who completed self-report questionnaires measuring demographics, sexual victimization history, per- ceived parental emotion socialization, and current symptoms of alexithymia and de- pression. Results: Linear regression analyses showed that CSA predicted greater depression, which was partly accounted for by alexithymia. Less positive socialization practices by both parents fully mediated the relationship between CSA and alexithymia. When these factors were examined together in a path model, greater CSA severity predicted perceptions of fewer positive socialization practices by mothers, which, in turn, was associated with greater alexithymia and depression. Conclusions: Perceptions of early positive emotion socialization and current alexithymia may contribute to experi- ence of depression among sexually victimized female veterans. Interventions aimed at targeting emotion regulation skills and perceptions associated with other salient childhood experiences such as emotion socialization by parents could help reduce adult depression among CSA survivors. Furthermore, encouraging positive parenting practices for caregiv- ers of abused children could allay subsequent affective symptoms. Keywords: child sexual abuse, adult depression, emotion socialization, alexithymia, female veterans Child sexual abuse (CSA) remains a signi±- cant societal problem that poses risk for many severe and long-lasting effects that extend into adulthood (Kendler et al., 2000). In the mental health domain, depression has frequently been examined as a possible long-term outcome of early sexual abuse. A large number of studies using cross-sectional, retrospective designs (e.g., Cheasty, Clare, & Collins, 1998; Kendler, Kuhn, & Prescott, 2004; Molnar, Buka, & Kes- sler, 2001), as well as prospective investigations using adult recall of abuse (Fergusson, Boden, & Horwood, 2008) or documented cases of CSA followed into adulthood (Bagley & Mc- Renu Thomas, David DiLillo, and Kate Walsh, Depart- ment of Psychology, University of Nebraska—Lincoln; Me- lissa A. Polusny, Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research (CCDOR), Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System; and Department of Psychiatry, Uni- versity of Minnesota Medical School.
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2011 for the course PSYC 1113 taught by Professor Hargett during the Fall '08 term at Oklahoma State.

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Childhood Abuse and Depression - Psychology of Violence...

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