Early relational trauma and self representations: Misattributing externally derived representations as internally generated
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Early relational trauma has been posited to be responsible for dysfunctional self schema as negative feedback derived from abusive close others may influence the development of self-evaluation. However, the association between early relational trauma and negative self-evaluation has proven inconsistent. In addition to the evaluative aspect, early relational trauma may impact on the procedural aspect of self schema, with a difficulty in differentiating mental representations derived from others from those generated internally by the self.
To test this hypothesis, the authors adopted a source attribution paradigm tapping on the distinction between mental representations generated by the self or derived from another person in a nonclinical sample, together with scales measuring self-evaluation and early relational experiences.
The results showed that individuals with early relational trauma tended to attribute the representations externally derived as internally generated, although there were no associations between early relational trauma and self-evaluation. Importantly, early relational trauma had unique contribution to source misattribution independent from common covariates including early nonrelational trauma, parental dysfunction, general memory function, and negative affect states.
Erroneously identifying information derived from other people as self-generated may be a specific sociocognitive propensity linked to early relational trauma and may impact upon the development of self schema.
All Author(s) ListCD Chiu, HL Ho, MS Tollenaar, BM Elzinga, T Zhang
Journal namePsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2021-16-09 at 01:54