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Title: An investigation of the relationship between the severity of post traumatic stress disorder, shame, anger and early childhood experiences in a population of traumatised individuals
Author: Lee, Deborah.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2002
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Aims of the study This study investigated relationships between severity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, shame, anger and early childhood experiences (early maladaptive schemas and recalled patterns of parental bonding). Design of the study This is a non-experimental, cross-sectional study. Data was collected once, using a semistructured interview and self-report questionnaires. The Sample The sample was 50 individuals with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On average the group had high levels of PTSD, depression symptoms and high levels of shame and anger. Main findings The study found that shame, anger and early maladaptive schemas (abandonment, social isolation, defectiveness/shame, incompetence and subjugation) were significantly associated with severity of PTSD. Shame was found to mediate the relationship between severity of PTSD and early maladaptive schemas and anger, respectively. Early maladaptive schemas mediated the relationship between low maternal care and shame. Finally this study found that shame emerges as the only independent predictor of the severity of PTSD when other variables (anger and early maladaptive schemas) are taken into account. This suggests that the relationships of anger and early maladaptive schemas to severity of PTSD are not independent of shame.Implication of findings These findings highlight the need to take into account the presence of emotions (such as shame and anger) and other psychological factors (such as early maladaptive schemas) when formulating clinical cases of PTSD and executing treatment plans. This is particularly important as many current treatment interventions are based on exposure therapy aimed at alleviating fear/anxiety based responses to trauma. Traditionally such treatments do not pay sufficient attention to shame and anger, which may worsen with exposure techniques and disrupt emotional processing of the traumatic event. Also the presence of early maladaptive Schemas may contribute to chronicity and maintenance of PTSD and may need to be addressed in any treatment plan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Parental Bonding