Brigham Young University Independent StudyClass of 2022
- The Associations between Childhood Abuse and Emotion Regulation with mentor Emma (Sept. 6, 2021)
Claire's Symposium Presentation
The Associations between Childhood Abuse and Emotion Regulation
Abstract or project description
Child abuse is a prevalent and critical problem in the world today. It has been well-established that child abuse is associated with many negative short and long-term consequences. One important consequence of childhood abuse is emotional dysregulation. This review examines the relationship between three different types of child abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and emotion regulation with a particular focus on various types of abuse, short- and long-term emotion dysregulation consequences of abuse, and intergenerational patterns among abuse and emotion dysregulation. Overall, the review suggests that those who experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse are at higher risk for emotion regulation difficulties. Of note, emotional abuse appears to be the most consistent predictor of emotion dysregulation problems. These effects were present both in the short-term (i.e., children experiencing abuse tend to have lower emotion regulation as children) and longitudinally (i.e., adults who experienced abuse as a child are found to have more emotional regulation difficulties as adults). Importantly, the review also finds evidence that these patterns can perpetuate intergenerationally such that adults who experienced child abuse, and resulting emotion dysregulation, are more likely to perpetrate abuse. Future work should focus on the long-term associations between emotional abuse and dysregulation among males, for whom current research is lacking.