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Optimisim as a Mediator Between Child Maltreatment and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

18 April 2007


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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