Early relational trauma and self representations: Misattributing externally derived representations as internally generated
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Officially Accepted for Publication


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AbstractObjective:
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.
Method:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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
Year2018
ISSN1942-9681
eISSN1942-969X
LanguagesEnglish-United States

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