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Negative body experience in woman with early childhood trauma: associations with trauma severity and dissociaton

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Negative body experience in woman with early childhood trauma: associations with trauma severity and dissociaton

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Background: A crucial but often overlooked impact of early life exposure to trauma is its farreaching
effect on a person’s relationship with their body. Several domains of body experience
may be negatively influenced or damaged as a result of early childhood trauma.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate disturbances in three domains of body
experience: body attitude, body satisfaction, and body awareness. Furthermore, associations
between domains of body experience and severity of trauma symptoms as well as frequency
of dissociation were evaluated.
Method: Body attitude was measured with the Dresden Body Image Questionnaire, body
satisfaction with the Body Cathexis Scale, and body awareness with the Somatic Awareness
Questionnaire in 50 female patients with complex trauma and compared with scores in a
non-clinical female sample (n = 216). Patients in the clinical sample also filled out the
Davidson Trauma Scale and the Dissociation Experience Scale.
Results: In all measured domains, body experience was severely affected in patients with
early childhood trauma. Compared with scores in the non-clinical group, effect sizes in
Cohen’s d were 2.7 for body attitude, 1.7 for body satisfaction, and 0.8 for body awareness.
Associations between domains of body experience and severity of trauma symptoms were
low, as were the associations with frequency of dissociative symptoms.
Conclusions: Early childhood trauma in women is associated with impairments in selfreported
body experience that warrant careful assessment in the treatment of women with
psychiatric disorders.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Windesheim
Gepubliceerd inEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology Taylor & Francis Group, Vol. 8, Pagina's: 1-10
Datum2017-06-01
TypeArtikel
ISSN2000-8198
TaalEngels

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