Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

August 2003


Published in Journal of Family Violence, 18:4 (August 2003), pp. 227–239. Copyright © 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation, a division of Springer Verlag. Used by permission.


Coping mechanisms used to deal with stressful childhood memories and current stressors were assessed for 196 women in each of 4 groups: no abuse history, sexual abuse history, physical abuse history, and both sexual and physical abuse history. Current psychological adjustment was also examined. Discriminant function analyses revealed a variety of significant differences between the groups in use of strategies for coping with memories of abuse or another childhood stressor. There was no relationship between childhood history of abuse and the manner in which women coped with a current stressor. Women with an abuse history reported significantly poorer adult adjustment than did nonabused women, and different coping strategies were predictive of adjustment for abused and nonabused women.