Title page for ETD etd-05132011-133002

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Papafratzeskakou, Eirini
Author's Email Address epapa06@vt.edu
URN etd-05132011-133002
Title Childhood Emotional Abuse, Effects, and Protective Factors: Comparison of Protective Factors between Emotional and Physical Abuse
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen Committee Chair
Dunsmore, Julie C. Committee Member
Hoffman, Kurt A. Committee Member
Scarpa-Friedman, Angela Committee Member
  • emotional abuse
  • youths
  • psychopathology
  • protective factors
Date of Defense 2011-04-29
Availability restricted
Although emotional maltreatment is clearly a very important issue that impedes youths’ development, it has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves. The present study hypothesized that for adolescents with high self-worth, high religiosity, high parent and peer support, high family cohesion, and low family conflict the negative effects of emotional abuse on internalizing symptomatology would attenuate. Additionally, the same protective factors were hypothesized to moderate the relationship between emotional and physical abuse and adolescent internalizing symptomatology. Two samples were used in order to test the aforementioned hypotheses: 1) a whole sample that consisted of adolescents with no or any emotional and physical abuse (N = 220) and 2) a no physical abuse sample that consisted of adolescents with no or any emotional abuse (N = 118). In order to assess the study variables the following measures were used: Conflict Tactics Scale-PC, Self-Perception Profile, Youth Religiosity Scale, Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, Family Environment Scale, and Youth Self Report. None of the study’s hypotheses were supported by the current data. It is assumed that this might be due to the sample’s nature and it is suggested that future studies utilize a sample with different age groups and with higher reports (means) of emotional and physical abuse. However, the findings suggested that emotional abuse had a stronger effect on internalizing symptomatology than physical abuse, and the significant main effects of self-worth, parent support, peer support, and family cohesion indicated the importance of their presence in adolescents’ psychological adjustment.
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