Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Childhood abuse history, attachment patterns, and selected Rorschach response variables
by Broeking, Nicki M., Psy.D., Pepperdine University, 2007, 98; 3282283
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the Rorschach response variables from child abuse victims to better understand the impact that physical and sexual trauma has on a child's interpersonal relations, particularly in regard to patterns of attachment. The researcher reviewed clinical charts and psychological assessment records of sexually abused (n = 22) and physically abused (n = 28) children on select variables of Exner's Comprehensive System (CS) for the Rorschach (Exner, 1993). The sample included 21 females and 29 males, between the ages 7 and 16, all of whom were in outpatient mental health treatment. Five variables from the Interpersonal Perception cluster were examined: Cooperative Movement (COP), Aggressive Movement (AG), Good Human Response (GHR), Poor Human Response (PHR), and Texture (T). In addition, exploratory analyses were conducted in which the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991) Internalization and Externalization scores were examined for group differences. An ex post facto design was utilized and a series of independent sample t tests was conducted.

The sexually abused and physically abused groups appeared comparable in regard to mean age and ethnic diversity, but gender was associated with group membership. There were significantly more boys in the physically abused group and more girls in the sexually abused group. There were no statistically significant differences between the physically abused group and the sexually abused group on any of the variables investigated in this study. However, the t test measuring differences on the Externalization variable of the CBCL did approach statistical significance, indicating a trend for the physically abused group to have higher scores than the sexually abused group. Additionally, it was found that when scores from both groups were combined and compared to Exner's non-patient norms (Exner, 2001), the abuse group appeared to have lower mean scores than the non-patient children on each Rorschach variables studied, with the exception of PHR. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are considered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mitchell, Cary
School: Pepperdine University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 68/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychotherapy
Keywords: Attachment, Childhood abuse, Rorschach
Publication Number: 3282283
ISBN: 978-0-549-23643-6
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