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Date of Award
Valerie A. Simon
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been associated with PTSD, abuse-related shame, and cortisol dysregulation. Extant research has independently identified a relationship between PTSD and cortisol regulation, as well as between shame and cortisol regulation. The current study looked at the independent and interactive effects of abuse-related shame and PTSD on cortisol response to a trauma focused interview among adolescents with a confirmed history of CSA.This study differs from previous studies in focusing on an adolescent sample and in considering the effects of PTSD and abuse-related shame on cortisol regulation simultaneously rather than seperately. Findings from the current study indicated that abuse-related shame had an unique effect on cortisol recovery but not cortisol reactivity. PTSD did not have a significant effect on cortisol response, and there was no interactive effect between abuse-related shame and PTSD on cortisol response. These findings point to the importance of early identification and intervention of abuse-related shame among adolescents who have experienced CSA. This could prevent or minimize maladaptive psychological and physiological outcomes associated with CSA.
Franklin, Marilyn, "Relationships among posttraumatic stress disorder, shame, and cortisol regulation among youth with a history of childhood sexual abuse" (2011). Wayne State University Theses. Paper 70.