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#84645 - 10/26/06 02:51 PM New Research on Childhood Abuse
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Childhood abuse can impact victims' adult relationships
Study results reported in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Abused children may have a difficult time developing adult relationships with new people who reminded them of their abusive parent, even if only implicitly, according to a recent study published in the November issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an official publication of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, published by SAGE Publications.

Kathy R. Berenson and Susan M. Andersen, of New York University's Department of Psychology, used groundbreaking methods to study how two groups of adult women, those with a history of childhood abuse and those without, reacted to a stranger whose characteristics were similar to their own parent (or were not). The researchers found that for both groups, the participants' feelings about the abusive parent tended to "transfer" to the new person Ė presumably without the participants realizing it. Both groups of participants reacted to the new person with facial expressions of positive emotion (presumably deriving from love for the parent). Among participants who had been abused, however, this was accompanied by negative reactions as well, such as expectations for rejection, mistrust, dislike, and emotional distancing. Notably, no such pattern occurred among abused participants when the new person bore no resemblance to the parent (a control condition).

Researchers additionally found that the abused participants reported a decrease in negative mood when the new person resembling the parent was also described as explicitly threatening (as compared to when there was no explicit threat). They showed no such response in the absence of parental resemblance. "A possible interpretation of this," write the authors, is that this may have evoked, for abused individuals, their "well-practiced affective responses to threat. These individuals may have self-protective strategies that are set into motion when a person acting in threatening ways reminds them of their abusive parent."

Berenson and Andersen conclude that the process of transference can lead previously abused individuals to use behavioral patterns from their relationship with the abusive parent in later interpersonal relationships, even when such patterns may be inappropriate or ineffective for the current interpersonal situation. "The study demonstrated the differences between abused and non-abused participants in their responses to a new person and highlights the pains and pleasures that past significant relationships can bring when experienced in the present." This work truly has practical applications for understanding those who live with or treat formerly abused adults.

###

"Childhood Physical and Emotional Abuse by a Parent: Transference Effects in Adult Interpersonal Relations" is published in the November issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and can be accessed for a limited time at no charge at http://pspb.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/32/11/1509. To contact the researchers, email Kathy R. Berenson at berenson@psych.columbia.edu.


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#84646 - 10/26/06 03:01 PM Re: New Research on Childhood Abuse
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Ken,

Would this also apply to a survivor's reaction to his T if the T resembles an abusive parent? I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't.

I ask because of a recent post by Visha on this subject.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#84647 - 10/26/06 07:32 PM Re: New Research on Childhood Abuse
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Yeah. I wrote in Vishna's thread to look at this one.


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#84648 - 10/26/06 08:18 PM Re: New Research on Childhood Abuse
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Quote:
this may have evoked, for abused individuals, their "well-practiced affective responses to threat. These individuals may have self-protective strategies that are set into motion when a person acting in threatening ways reminds them of their abusive parent."
Exactly, but it is only one of many hundreds of factor which individuals use to protect themselves.

I tend to find that if a man gives me a menacing look, I can generally use some protection skills by just looking back, with the look of beware.

I do not have the ability to know if a womans glance is that of love or friendship.

I think its the start of groundbreaking stuff, hope they go further,

ste

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Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#84649 - 10/29/06 03:55 PM Re: New Research on Childhood Abuse *DELETED*
jacobtk Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 527
Post deleted by jacobtk

_________________________
Every day I die again, and again Iím reborn/Every day I have to find the courage/To walk out into the street/With arms out/Got a love you canít defeat/Neither down nor out/Thereís nothing you have that I need/I can breathe/Breathe now - U2

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#141812 - 02/16/07 08:22 AM Re: New Research on Childhood Abuse [Re: jacobtk]
philobat Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 293
Loc: California
Now this has merit. Thank you for this it makes sense to me.


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