Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Lisa Harlow

Abstract

The current study looked at the plausibility of two theories: Social Cognitive Theory and Survivor Theory to explain the interrelationships between childhood trauma, family functioning, protective factors, and adult health. The interrelationships among these constructs were explored with a sample of 451 undergraduate students . Structural equation models revealed that there is a mediational relationship between childhood trauma and health through social support. This relationship was similar for men and women. Cluster analysis and multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that individuals with high levels of all the childhood traumas (physical, psychological, and sexual abuse) have significantly more physical and psychological health problems than individuals who have high levels of only physical and psychological abuse and individuals who have low levels of all the childhood traumas, even when controlling for level of protective factors.

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