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Date of Award

4-16-1993

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Maryka Biaggio, PhD

Second Advisor

Donald Lange, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether intrafamilial conflict and emotional, physical and sexual abuse are related to college level academic achievement. Subjects included 135 students who responded to a questionnaire circulated on the campus of a small private university in a rural setting. Responses were confidential and questionnaires were completed on a voluntary basis. Reported histories of sexual abuse by family members and physical abuse were associated with lower grade point averages. Surprisingly, this study found that students who reported that their family system did well in crisis, showed anger in an open and constructive manner and were not critical of others had statistically significant lower grade point averages than students who reported that their family system did not do well in crisis, did not show anger in an open and constructive manner and were critical of others. Furthermore, students who reported that their home environment was happy and loving and did not avoid family problems and issues had lower grade point averages than students who reported that their home environment was not happy and loving and did avoid family problems and issues. Treatment implications and directions for future research are considered.

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