Betrayal trauma: Traumatic amnesia as an adaptive response to childhood abuse

Ethics and Behavior 4 (4):307 – 329 (1994)
Betrayal trauma theory suggests that psychogenic amnesia is an adaptive response to childhood abuse. When a parent or other powerful figure violates a fundamental ethic of human relationships, victims may need to remain unaware of the trauma not to reduce suffering but rather to promote survival. Amnesia enables the child to maintain an attachment with a figure vital to survival, development, and thriving. Analysis of evolutionary pressures, mental modules, social cognitions, and developmental needs suggests that the degree to which the most fundamental human ethics are violated can influence the nature, form, and processes of trauma and responses to trauma.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1207/s15327019eb0404_1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jennifer J. Freyd (1998). Science in the Memory Debate. Ethics and Behavior 8 (2):101 – 113.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rudolf Bernet (2000). Le Sujet Traumatisé. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2.
R. Joseph (2003). Emotional Trauma and Childhood Amnesia. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (2):151-179.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #135,245 of 1,725,862 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,716 of 1,725,862 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.