Interpersonal Schemas and Functioning in Women Abused in Childhood: The Role of Revictimization

Helene J. Jurgens

Abstract


This study compared interpersonal schemas, as measured by the Interpersonal Schema Questionnaire (ISQ), and self-reported interpersonal problems on the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP) in a sample of women physically and/or sexually abused in childhood. Study participants were divided into childhood abuse only (CA) and revictimized in adulthood (RV) groups. As predicted, a strong negative relationship between number of interpersonal problems reported and affiliation scores on the ISQ was found. Contrary to the hypotheses, the CA group reported a higher number of interpersonal problems than the RV group. The CA group also had a higher mean score of the competitive-mistrusting octant of the ISQ than the RV group. Subjects who experienced more frequent abuse were found to report fewer interpersonal problems. The IIP and ISQ were also compared in terms of circumplex overlap. Only the cold and the cold-hostile octants of the IIP and ISQ were found to be positively correlated, suggesting that the two measure substantially different constructs. Implications for understanding and treatment of abused women are discussed.

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References


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