Level of Participatory Distress Experienced by Women in a Study of Childhood Abuse

Ethics and Behavior 22 (2):131 - 141 (2011)
Given the sensitive nature of trauma-focused research, it is important that researchers understand the impact of research participation on study participants. The current study examined the relationship between type of child abuse, psychological adjustment, and self-reported participatory distress in 105 female adult survivors of childhood abuse. Several key findings emerged: (a) overall, participants reported low levels of participatory distress; (b) greater levels of participatory distress were reported by sexual abuse survivors and were associated with higher scores on depressed mood and posttraumatic stress; and (c) posttraumatic stress symptomatology served as a mediator in the relationship between abuse type and participatory distress. The findings inform researchers and members of Institutional Review Boards on variables related to participatory distress in studies of child abuse
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