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Title: An exploration of the experience of people with a history of childhood physical abuse and mental health problems
Author: Healey, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3696
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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Associations have been reported between childhood physical abuse (CPA) and symptoms associated with psychotic experiences, such as delusions (e.g. Mundy, Robertson, Roberston and Greenblatt, 1990). Little attention has been given by the research literature to the subjective experience of CPA and mental health problems such as delusional beliefs. In the present study nine adults who had experienced CPA and later mental health problems including delusional beliefs were interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to explore the personal experiences of participants who have CPA histories and had experienced delusional ideas. Exploration included examining whether participants' accounts of the impact of CPA and experiences of adulthood problems including delusions were similar to each other in any phenomenological way. Three super-ordinate themes, all of which had a number of subordinate themes emerged from the analysis. The themes covered how participants responded and coped as children and adolescents to their abusive home environments and how, as adults, they experienced and responded in very similar ways to other circumstances such as interpersonal relationships and their mental health problems. How participants experienced delusional beliefs comprised the second theme, followed by the ways in which participants thought their physical abuse histories had continued to affect them into adulthood. To some extent the findings supported previously published work on CPA and adult sequelae. The analysis revealed a commonality of themes running through .childhood to adulthood experiences which provided diffuse rather than specific answers to the research questions. The study provided some evidence that participants perceived connections between their childhood and adulthood experiences. The implication of the study for research and clinical practice are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available