|dc.description.abstract||Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has the potential to compromise the socioemotional
development of the victim resulting in an increased vulnerability to difficulties
regulating emotions and one’s sense of self. Emotion is thought to play a key part in a
number of psychological disorders which CSA survivors are at increased risk of developing.
A better understanding of the basic emotions experienced in this population and emotion
regulation will inform current treatment.
Aims: This research aimed to develop a better understanding of the emotions experienced by
survivors of CSA and the relationship between “implicit” and explicit emotions and
Method: Two empirical studies were conducted. Study 1 employed a cross-sectional
consecutive case series design involving 109 survivors of CSA. Participants completed a set
of measures relating to basic emotions, emotion regulation and symptoms. Exploratory
factor analyses were conducted on the Basic Emotions scale (BES). Regression analyses
were used to explore the relationship between emotions experienced, emotion regulation
strategies and psychological symptoms. Study 2 examined basic emotions, “implicit disgust
self-concept” and psychopathology in a population of CSA survivors (n=26) and a group of
individuals currently receiving psychological therapy who reported that they had not
experienced childhood trauma (n=25). Participants completed self-report measures
pertaining to emotion, emotion regulation, symptoms and cognitive fusion. Participants also
completed an implicit association test.
Results: Exploratory factor analyses supported the structure of three versions of the BESWeekly,
General, and Coping in a sample of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In all
three versions of the scale, disgust explained the largest proportion of variance. The basic
emotions of sadness, fear and disgust as well as external dysfunctional coping strategies
appear to predict PTSD symptomatology in this sample. The results of Study 2 also support
the finding that self-reported disgust is prominent in the emotion profile of CSA survivors.
Implicit disgust self-concept was not significantly correlated with other emotions or
psychopathology. However, implicit disgust self-concept was found to be significantly
associated with cognitive fusion.
Discussion: Psychotherapeutic approaches for survivors of childhood sexual abuse should
address the emotional experience of this population. In particular, these findings suggest
that sadness and disgust should be targeted in therapy.||en
|dc.publisher||The University of Edinburgh||en
|dc.subject||childhood sexual abuse||en
|dc.subject||implicit association test||en
|dc.title||Exploration of explicit and implicit emotion in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse||en
|dc.type||Thesis or Dissertation||en
|dc.type.qualificationname||DClinPsychol Doctor of Clinical Psychology||en