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THE EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUAL COPING AMONG ADULT WOMEN SURVIVORS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Date

2011-12-22

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ORCID

Type

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the lived experiences of spiritual coping among adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). It has recently been suggested that the research on the adjustment of CSA survivors be broadened to include new aspects of coping, as well as the processes that promote resilience. Studies have only recently started to examine how religious and/or spiritual coping impact adjustment to significant life events including illness, death of a child, and terrorist events. However, very few empirical studies have specifically investigated the role of spiritual coping in relation to CSA. Spirituality has been found to be a protective factor for the development of various psychological problems such as the development of depression, shame, and interpersonal difficulties. For some CSA survivors, spirituality or religion has been found to be a factor in resilience and healing. Giorgi’s Empirical Phenomenological Approach guided the exploration of the lived experience of women who have experienced spiritual coping in relation to healing from their CSA. Three women between the ages of 45 and 48 were recruited through purposeful sampling and data were generated through in-depth interviews. The data was analyzed following the empirical phenomenological approach and generated five invariants and an essential structure. The invariants that emerged were: “Innately Bad:” Blame and Responsibility; “Living a Lie:” Confronting Hypocrisy; “Wandering the Wilderness:” Searching; “Worm to Butterfly:” Transformation; “Bringing Me to Shore:” Support. The implications of the invariants and essential structure as well as considerations for future research and for mental health professionals are discussed.

Description

Keywords

Child Sexual Abuse, Spiritual Coping, Positive Spiritual Coping, Negative Spiritual Coping, Resilience

Citation

Degree

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Department

Educational Psychology and Special Education

Program

School and Counselling Psychology

Citation

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DOI

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