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Somebody Else’s Second Chance

Description: Charles Baxter, in his essay “Dysfunctional Narratives: or: ‘Mistakes Were Made,’” implies that all trauma narrative is synonymous with “dysfunctional narrative,” or narrative that leaves all characters unaccountable. He writes: “In such fiction, people and events are often accused of turning the protagonist into the kind of person the protagonist is, usually an unhappy person. That’s the whole story. When blame has been assigned, the story is over.” For Baxter, trauma narrative lets everyone “off the hook,” so to speak. He would say that we write about our bitter lemonade to make excuses for our poor choices, and “audiences of fellow victims” read our tales, because their lemonade and their choices carry equal bitterness, and they require equal excuses. While trauma narrative can soothe us, as can other narrative genres, we should not dismiss trauma fiction because of a sweeping generalization. Trauma fiction also allows us to explore the missing parts of our autobiographical narratives and to explore the effects of trauma—two endeavors not fully possible without fiction. As explained in more detail later, the human mind requires narrative to formulate an identity. Trauma disrupts this process, because “trauma does not lie in the possession of the individual, to be recounted at will, but rather acts as a haunting or possessive influence which not only insistently and intrusively returns but is, moreover, experienced for the first time only in its belated repetition.” Because literature can speak what “theory cannot say,” we need fiction to speak in otherwise silent spaces. Fiction allows us to express, analyze, and comprehend what we could not otherwise.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Heiden, Elishia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychoanalytic Assessment of Sexually Abused Girls: Questions of Trauma and Rorschach Methodology

Description: Using a clinical sample of 63 girls aged 5 - 16 years, the Psychoanalytic Rorschach Profile (PRP; Burke et al., 1988), a measure of drive, ego, and object relations functioning, was examined for differences between sexual abuse (SA) victims and distressed but nonabused (NA) peers. The hypothesis that the SA group would evidence more pathological, less developed levels of drive, ego, and object relations functioning than the NA group was not supported. Limitations of the use of archival data are discussed. The effects of controlling for the number of responses (R) in Rorschach research were examined by comparing entire protocols of a clinical sample of girls from 5 - 16 years of age to shortened versions which included only the first one (N = 89; R = 10) or two (N = 17; R = 20) responses to each blot. Of 12 PRP scales compared, differences between the R = 10 and entire protocols were found on 5 variables, but when R was increased to 20, only 2 differences remained. Support was given for the notion of uniform Rorschach administration in which 2 responses per card are solicited.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Isler, Diane E. (Diane Evelyn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cognitive Complexity and Construct Extremity in Social and Life Event Construing in Persons with Varied Trauma History

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine cognitive complexity, extremity, and the relationship between social repertory grids and life events repertory grids (LERG) in people who report a history of trauma. Effects of type of trauma on complexity and extremity scores of each type of grid were examined. Prior research into repertory grids and trauma has used only one type of grid, predominantly social grids or LERGs. Therefore, a natural, progressive step in the grid research involved investigating how individuals integrate social and life event constructs. It was hypothesized, and results show, that there is a positive correlation between complexity scores and extremity scores of social grids and LERGs. However it was not found that there was a negative correlation between trauma history and complexity scores, and that trauma acts as a moderator for cognitive complexity. Instead, it appears that the social facet of experience is key to understanding perception of traumatic experiences. Additionally, number of traumas experienced might affect social construct elaboration.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Shafenberg, Stacey
Partner: UNT Libraries

An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.

Description: Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tomczyk, Daniel A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescents with Conduct Disorder: Pre- and Post-Treatment Comparison of Trauma Types

Description: The purpose of this study was to compare pre- and post-treatment differences in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in male adolescents with conduct disorder. The Children's PTSD Inventory and the PTSD Reaction Index were used to diagnose PTSD and determine trauma type (Type I single trauma or Type II recurring trauma). Pre- and post-treatment measures included the PTSD Reaction Index, the Children's Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, the Dissociative Experiences Scale, and the Youth Self-Report. The six-week, biweekly group treatment included education, exposure, and cognitive elements. Primary hypotheses that the abused group would statistically differ from the non-abused group in terms of pre- and post-treatment levels of avoidance, dissociation, anger/aggression, self-destructiveness, social problems, and overall levels of PTSD symptoms, were not confirmed. Overall, group therapy participants experienced statistically significant decreases in PTSD symptoms over the course of therapy. Results are discussed in light of clinical implications, recommended cautions given the lack of a robust control group, and directions for future research.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Ovaert, Lynda B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adult Attachment Patterns, Mental Representation of Self, and Faith: Mediators of Childhood Trauma and Affect-Behavior Regulations in Adulthood

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Han, GiBaeg
Partner: UNT Libraries

History of Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Growth's Effects on Reactions to Subsequent Traumatic Events

Description: Previous research indicates that those with a history of abuse have an increased risk to experience subsequent traumatic events. This study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students to examine the reaction of those with a history of abuse to subsequent traumatic experiences. In addition, the study assessed the level of posttraumatic growth an individual experiences following childhood abuse. The level of posttraumatic growth was examined to determine if the growth allowed for participants to better handle successive traumas. Those with a history of abuse experienced higher levels of symptomology following a successive traumatic event. Results did not support the hypothesis that among those with a history of abuse, lower levels of posttraumatic growth would predict higher levels of symptoms following a later trauma. Implications and limitations of the study, as well as directions for future research are discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of the Trauma Play Scale: Comparison of Children Manifesting a History of Interpersonal Trauma with a Normative Sample.

Description: Experts in traumatology have postulated traumatized children play differently than non-traumatized children. These differences are called posttraumatic play and include the behaviors of intense play, repetitive play, play disruption, avoidant play and negative affect. The purpose of this study is the continued development of the Trauma Play Scale through the addition of a normative sample. The Trauma Play Scale is an observation-based instrument designed to distinguish the play behaviors of children in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma when compared to non-traumatized children. The present study compares two samples of children. One group (n=6) currently in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma and another group (n=7) considered normally developing (cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically) by their parents with no known history of interpersonal trauma. Trained raters blind to the trauma history of the children rated a series of eight consecutive video-recorded play therapy sessions for each participant. One-way analysis of variance statistics, including effect sizes were compute to determine the discriminant validity of the Trauma Play Scale. Traumatized children scored significantly higher on the Trauma Play Scale than non-traumatized children on all domains of the scale as well as the overall Average Trauma Play Scale score. Large effect sizes indicated strong relationships between group membership (trauma history versus normally developing) and scores on the Trauma Play Scale.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Myers, Charles Edwin
Partner: UNT Libraries