Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1993

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Robert Markley

Abstract

Literature establishing the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse, documenting its multitude of protracted effects, and suggesting treatment modalities for its survivors has burgeoned over the past decade. Though current research has been crucial in raising social awareness and informing public policy, most of these studies are vulnerable to inferential error (Briere, 1992) and lack a unifying theoretical grounding that would enlighten intervention (Haaken & Schlaps, 1991). Drawing from L.H. Leitner's (1987, 1988) work on core role relationships, the current study conceptualizes the etiology and integration of symptoms associated with childhood sexual abuse in a framework of personal construct theory (Kelly, 1955). Kelly's Choice and Sociality corollaries particularly informed the conduct of a ten-week therapy group for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Trajectories of client change were monitored using repertory grids, a beliefs inventory, and symptom measures. Results suggest that group therapy based on personal construct theory is effective in promoting client change by challenging debilitating beliefs and encouraging individual experimentation into meaningful role reconstruction regardless of the particular sequelae of the survivor.

Rights

Copyright 1993 Christine E. Poage

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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