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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Deborah Wise, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sydney Ey, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeni Felker Thayer, Psy.D.


The hypotheses that dispositional optimism mediates trauma symptoms and behavior problems among youth in outpatient treatment who experienced child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse were examined using correlational analyses. Participants included 20 youth (aged 12-16 yrs) from an outpatient community mental health center in Oregon. It was found that high levels of child physical abuse and high levels of child emotional abuse were associated with lower levels of optimism. Contrary to predictions, the experience of child abuse was not significantly associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms or behavioral problems. Furthermore, dispositional optimism was not significantly correlated with posttraumatic stress symptoms or behavioral problems. Clinical implications of these results are addressed.


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