Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


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.


Robert Markley

Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1993 Christine E. Poage


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