نقش واسطه ای خوددلسوزی در رابطه بین قربانی سازی و ناسازگاری روانی در یک نمونه از نوجوانان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38914||2015||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8111 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 38, Issue 7, July 2014, Pages 1180–1190
Abstract The objectives of the present study were to analyze the relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment in adolescents and the role of self-compassion as a mediator in this relationship. The sample was composed of 109 adolescents aged from 15 to 18 years old with poor school performance. The participants filled out a battery of questionnaires made up of: a socio-demographic data questionnaire; the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ); the Youth Self-Report (YSR); and the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Results indicated that victimization was positively associated with psychological maladjustment. Moreover, adolescents reporting poly-victimization showed significantly higher level of psychological maladjustment and different types of victimization show different effects on adolescents’ psychological maladjustment. Self-compassion partially mediated the relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment and reduced negative consequences in adolescents who reported having been victimized. Adolescence is a time of development and search for identity in which strengthening personal protective factors could help overcome any traumas experienced. Therefore, developing self-compassion in adolescence could be a good way to help young people recover from bad experiences and protect themselves against future negative experiences. As self-compassion can be improved with practice it could be included in adolescent intervention and prevention programs.
Introduction Exposure to violence has been defined broadly and includes both direct exposure and indirect exposure (i.e., witnessing a violent situation; Buka, Stichick, Birdthistle, & Earls, 2001). Research has clearly shown that violence exerted on a person disrupts the victim's individual, family, and social functioning in several ways (Buka et al., 2001). Thus, victimization is associated with psychopathological symptomatology, and although there are many forms of victimization, they all have the potential to disrupt the developmental process (Boney-McCoy & Finkelhor, 1995). The consequences of victimization can become apparent in the short, medium, or long term and affect all areas of children's development, which places them at a high risk of developing adjustment problems and psychopathologies (Alvarez-Lister et al., 2013, Manly et al., 2001, Stouthamer-Loeber et al., 2001 and Teisl and Cicchetti, 2008). Moreover, many studies have associated different types of child victimization (i.e., physical, psychological, sexual abuse, neglect, peer victimization) with psychological maladjustment including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, behavior problems, social relationship problems, substance abuse, suicide attempts, adult criminality, and delinquency and serious psychiatric disorders in childhood and adulthood (i.e., Cerezo and Frías, 1994, Cerezo and Vera, 2004, Cicchetti et al., 2010, Ford et al., 2010, Hanish and Guerra, 2002, Herrenkohl and Herrenkohl, 2007, Hinduja and Patchin, 2010 and Teisl and Cicchetti, 2008). In short, victimization can cause imbalances in mental health and negatively affect different aspects of an individual's life. One of the consequences of victimization is poor school performance. Several studies have indicated that maltreated children and adolescents under-achieve intellectually and academically (Shonk & Cicchetti, 2001). Victimization affects or impairs the cognitive development of those who have suffered it; the effects of exposure to violence have been demonstrated in the areas of intelligence and reading ability (Delaney-Black et al., 2002), academic achievement, motivation, and commitment to learning (Hoglund, 2007). Children exposed to child physical and sexual abuse are consistently found to be higher on both internalizing and externalizing symptoms (Trickett & McBride-Chang, 1995). Linkages between distress and disorder in children and exposure to neighborhood violence have also been established (Osofsky, Wewers, Hann, & Fick, 1993). Peer victimization has been related to internalizing and externalizing symptoms (Storch, Milsom, DeBraganza, Lewin, Geffken, Silverstein, 2006). Most children experienced several types of victimization rather than just one. The concept of polyvictimization was introduced by Finkelhor, Ormrod, and Turner (2007a) who argued that most of the literature on child victimization focused on separate categories of experiences (e.g., sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying, community violence), whereas the norm was exposure to different types of victimization, with an average of 2.63 categories per child (Finkelhor, Hamby, Omrod, & Turner, 2005). Investigating isolated categories of victimization can create a risk of overestimating the impact of one single category or underestimating the full impact of victimization experienced by children (Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2006). Finkelhor and collaborators evaluated 34 specific types of victimization and found that children who had experienced polyvictimization tended to have more serious traumatic symptoms and behavior problems than those who had experienced fewer types or had not been victimized (Finkelhor et al., 2007b and Turner et al., 2010). Also, many of those who had been victimized on one single occasion reported that they had been polyvictimized (Finkelhor et al., 2007b). In fact, research has shown that being victimized in childhood seems to be a risk factor for suffering multiple victimization (Cuevas et al., 2010 and Finkelhor et al., 2007c) and increases the probability of revictimization in adulthood (Desai et al., 2002, Doll et al., 2004 and Widom et al., 2008). However, child victimization and its consequences are complex phenomena; not all victims manifest the same problems or to the same extent as the impact can be compounded or buffered depending on multiple variables (Cerezo, 1995). It is necessary to identify protective factors which reduce the impact of stressful events in adolescence and help young people to better adjust psychologically (Compas, Hinden, & Gerhardt, 1995). One of the objectives of this study was to take a further step beyond the documented relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment (Alvarez-Lister et al., 2013) by examining the role of self-compassion as a possible protective factor. Self-compassion is close to the wider concept of compassion which aims to reduce/ease others’ suffering, through patience, kindness, and understanding and recognize that all humans are imperfect and make mistakes. The central aspect of the concept of self-compassion would be to treat oneself well in times of difficulty (Neff, 2003a). Therefore, having compassion for oneself is no different from having compassion for others. Acknowledging that suffering, failure, and inadequacies are part of the human condition allows individuals to relate their own experiences to those of others. Self-compassion reduces self-pity: over-identification and ego-centric feelings, associated with disconnection from others. Thus, individuals can perceive their own difficulties/feelings as something to be shared, thereby increasing feelings of interconnectedness (Neff, 2003a). Widening the perspective of personal experience allows individuals to see their own emotional suffering more clearly. This compassionate attitude toward oneself implies a balanced mental perspective which is known as ‘mindfulness’ (Bennett-Goleman, 2001, Brown and Ryan, 2003, Langer, 2005 and Wallace and Shapiro, 2006). Mindfulness is a receptive mental state where one observes one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging or trying to change them, but without avoiding or ignoring them either (Bishop et al., 2004, Segal et al., 2002 and Shapiro and Schwartz, 2000). Fully experiencing self-compassion involves experiencing full attention. Consequently, self-compassionate individuals do not repress or avoid painful feelings; they acknowledge and feel compassion for them, without over-identifying with their feelings (Neff, 2003a). Self-compassion can be an effective emotional regulation strategy as it enables emotional pain to be processed and accepted by paying full attention to thoughts and feelings, treating them with understanding (Neff, 2004). Thus, in times of suffering, self-compassion helps transform negative emotions into a more positive state and facilitates acting toward oneself and/or one's environment more effectively (Folkman and Moskowitz, 2000, Isen, 2000 and Roemer et al., 2009). According to Fredrickson (2001), positive emotions cause changes in cognitive activity and subsequent changes in behavior which help build personal resources to cope with problematic situations. Furthermore, this is associated with a lower level of negative thoughts and emotions, and of pessimistic/critical perceptions (Neff, 2003a). Because self-compassion can transform self-affect from negative to positive, it may provide some of the psychological benefits associated with high self-esteem but fewer of the drawbacks. Indeed, some authors have argued that an over-emphasis on evaluating and liking oneself may lead to narcissism, self-centeredness, lack of concern for others, prejudice, and violence toward those perceived as a threat to the ego (Aberson et al., 2000 and Baumeister et al., 2000). In some individuals high self-esteem may be associated with an exaggerated or inaccurate self-concept, making self-improvement difficult (Neff & Lamb, 2009). These individuals tend to reject negative feedback as unreliable or biased and either do not think their shortcomings are important or else attribute them to external causes (Crocker & Park, 2004), thus taking less responsibility for their own wrongdoings (Persinger, 2012). With self-compassion, however, one can experience positive emotions toward oneself without having to protect one's self-concept (Neff, 2003a). Indeed, self-compassion is not based on self-evaluation or comparison with others, and it is not based on achieving ideal standards; it circumvents this process, focusing instead on kindness/understanding toward oneself and the recognition of one's common humanity, thus minimizing the distortion of the self-concept (Persinger, 2012). Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor in the Face of Adversity Self-compassion has been linked to other indicators of healthy psychological functioning. Neff, Hsieh, and Dejitthirat (2005) reported that it was positively associated with adaptive coping strategies. It could, therefore, be described as a protective factor in the face of adversity. Protective factors are those resources pertaining to individuals, their environment, or the interaction between both, which buffer the impact of stressful events, altering or reverting the prediction of negative results (Masten, Cutuli, Herbers, & Reed, 2009). These factors do not necessarily eliminate the stressful event but allow the problem to be interpreted in a new context. According to Neff, 2003a and Neff, 2003b, self-compassion may be an adaptive process that increases psychological resilience and well-being. It is negatively associated with self-criticism, fear of failure, anxiety, and depression (Neff and Vonk, 2009, Raes, 2010, Raes, 2011, Shapira and Mongrain, 2010, Terry et al., 2012 and Ying, 2009), and positively associated with life satisfaction, optimism, happiness, and positive affect (Neff et al., 2007 and Shapira and Mongrain, 2010), social connectedness (Neff & McGehee, 2010), emotional intelligence, and self-acceptance (Neff, 2003b). Gilbert (2005) suggests that self-compassion improves well-being because it helps individuals feel cared for, connected, and calm. Victimization, in particular childhood maltreatment, has been associated with overall emotion dysregulation (Gratz, Tull, Baruch, Bornovalova, & Lejuez, 2008). The development of self-compassion, as an effective emotion regulation strategy, can be impaired in those victims. In fact, Vettese, Dyer, Ly, and Wekerle (2011) observed that self-compassion mediated the relationship between childhood maltreatment severity and later emotion dysregulation and many of the psychological disorders involve maladaptive emotion regulation (Werner & Gross, 2010). Although higher levels of childhood emotional abuse and neglect and physical abuse have been found to be associated with lower self-compassion (Tanaka, Wekerle, Schmuck, & Paglia-Boak, 2011), self-compassion, nonetheless, can be beneficial as a protective factor in reducing the impact of many adverse situations, such as victimization. Objectives The present study had two objectives. First, it sought to analyze the relationship between self-reported victimization and psychological maladjustment in adolescents. Based on previous research, it was predicted that victimization would be associated with psychological maladjustment. As one of the consequences of victimization in adolescence is poor school performance, a higher rate of victimization was expected in a group with this characteristic. Consequently, we selected a population with poor school performance from communities with social problems to maximize the probability of assessing individuals with victimization experiences. Second, this study sought to explore the role of self-compassion as a potential mediator between victimization and its related psychological consequences to determine if it was a protective factor in the psychological maladjustment of victimized adolescents. Our specific hypotheses were that higher levels of victimization would be negatively associated with self-compassion and that self-compassion would be negatively associated with psychological maladjustment; therefore, those victimized youth with higher self-compassion scores would report lower levels of psychological maladjustment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results Results are presented in terms of our research hypotheses. First, we expected to find a positive relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment, i.e. the more types of victimization reported, the more psychological maladjustment score the participants would have. Secondly, it was expected that a higher level of victimization would be negatively associated with self-compassion and that self-compassion would be negatively associated with psychological maladjustment. Finally, we predicted that self-compassion would mediate between victimization and psychological maladjustment, reducing the impact of the first variable on the second. Preliminary Analyses Most subjects reported that they had been poly-victimized (57.8%), and a minority reported experiencing one type of victimization (9.2%) or none (9.2%). Gender (F = .023, gl = 1, p = .879), nationality (F = 3.79, gl = 4, p = .435), and age (F = 1.52, gl = 3, p = .212) did not have any significant statistical effect on the victimization variable. Results of preliminary analysis also show the percentages for the specific types suffered by participants. The highest percentages are for indirect victimization and conventional offenses (72.5% each). In other words, the types of victimization most frequently reported by the adolescents in our study were having witnessed harm caused to others and having been a victim of robbery, assault, threats, etc. A high percentage of participants reported having suffered peer and sibling victimization (56%) and child maltreatment (47.7%), while Internet victimization and sexual victimization scored the lowest percentages (27.5% and 12.8%, respectively). Preliminary analyses were also conducted to explore any possible differences in the psychological maladjustment scores because of gender or age. Gender (F = .044, gl = 1, p = .834), age (F = .467, gl = 3, p = .706), and nationality (F = 2.72, gl = 1, p = .102) had no significant statistical effect on the psychological maladjustment variable. Victimization and Psychological Maladjustment First, the effect of the victimization variable, with four levels, on the total score for psychological maladjustment was analyzed by ANOVA. The analyses showed significant differences in psychological maladjustment depending on the level of victimization, F(4, 104) = 6.42; p = .000; η2 = 0.20. Tukey's post hoc tests indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between none (M = 32.3, SD = 16.3), one type (M = 36.3, SD = 8.2), and two types of victimization (M = 36.8, SD = 17.9). Therefore, these three categories showed similar effects on individuals’ psychological maladjustment. However, the differences between these levels of victimization and polyvictimization (M = 55.4, SD = 20.5) were statistically significant (p < .05 in all instances). Adolescents who reported having suffered polyvictimization presented a significantly higher level of psychological maladjustment than their counterparts (see Table 1). Table 1. Results of Tukey test conducted on number of types of victimization and psychological maladjustment. No. of types of victimization 0 1 2 3 4+ MD MD MD MD MD 1 −4.0 2 −4.5 −0.5 3 −17.4 −13.4 −12.9 4+ −23.1** −19.1* −18.6* −5.7 M 32.3 36.3 36.8 49.7 55.4 SD 16.3 8.2 17.9 16.1 20.5 Note: MD = mean difference. * p < .05 (two-tailed). ** p < .01 (two-tailed). Table options Secondly, we examined whether victimization had a direct effect on subjects’ psychological maladjustment using the first step of Baron and Kenny's (1986) approach. The simple regression analysis conducted on the independent variable (“Number of types of victimization”) and the dependent variable (“Psychological maladjustment”) confirmed a significant positive relationship between them (β = .548; p < .001). In addition, significant positive relationships were found between victimization and the internalizing (β = .440; p < .001) and the externalizing (β = .293; p < .001) factor. These results indicate that the more types of victimization reported, the higher the level of psychological maladjustment, manifested by both internalizing and externalizing problems. Type of Victimization and Psychological Maladjustment To determine which types of victimization had the greatest impact on participants’ psychological maladjustment, a correlation analysis was conducted between the different types of victimization and the total level of psychological maladjustment and with the internalizing and the externalizing factor. The results showed that conventional offenses, peer and sibling victimization, and child maltreatment all had a significant positive relationship with psychological maladjustment, and with the internalizing and the externalizing factors (see Table 2). Table 2. Matrix of correlations between type of victimization, psychological maladjustment, and the internalizing and the externalizing factor. Conventional offenses Peer and sibling victimization Child maltreatment Indirect victimization Internet victimization Sexual victimization Psychological maladjustment .528** .444** .389** .338** .256** .163 Internalizing factor .392** .428** .392** .144 .241* .279** Externalizing factor .297** .205* .241* .257** .112 −.120 * p < .05 (two-tailed). ** p < .01 (two-tailed). Table options Indirect victimization showed a significant positive correlation with psychological maladjustment and the externalizing factor. According to these results, witnessing violent situations appears to be more strongly associated with reactions which involve expressing emotions through problematic and aggressive behavior. Internet victimization showed a significant positive correlation with psychological maladjustment and the internalizing factor. Sexual victimization appears to be associated with thought problems, relationship problems, depression, and anxiety, as it showed a significant positive correlation with the internalizing factor but with neither the externalizing factor nor psychological maladjustment. Victimization, Self-Compassion and Psychological Maladjustment Victimization and Self-compassion. Following the second step of Baron and Kenny's (1986) approach, the relationship between number of types of victimization and self-compassion was determined by way of a simple regression analysis of both variables. The analysis showed a significant negative relationship between them (β = −.239; p < .005). In Fig. 1, these results correspond to “a” path: the relationship between victimization and self-compassion is statistically significant. In other words, subjects who reported more types of victimization had lower levels of self-compassion. Self-compassion and Psychological Maladjustment. The simple regression analysis, following the third step of Baron and Kenny's (1986) approach, found a significant negative relationship between self-compassion and subjects’ psychological maladjustment (labeled “b” in Fig. 1: (β = −.483; p < .01)), and with the internalizing (β = −.521; p < .01) and the externalizing (β = −.243; p < .05) factors. These analyses revealed that, as expected, the participants with low levels of self-compassion obtained higher mean values in psychological maladjustment (Ms = 60.5 and 42.7; SDs = 21.5 and 17, respectively) and in the internalizing (Ms = 14.6 y 8.7; SDs = 6.7 and 5, respectively) and the externalizing (Ms = 9.7 and 7.8; SDs = 5.4 and 3.4, respectively) factors than their peers. These differences were statistically significant for the total level of psychological maladjustment, t(107) = 4.7, p < .001, and for the internalizing factor, t(107) = 5.2, p < .001. Victimization, Self-compassion and Psychological Maladjustment. In the fourth step of Baron and Kenny's (1986) model, a multiple regression analysis was used to determine the effect of the variables Number of types of victimization and Self-compassion on psychological maladjustment. The two-variable model was significantly associated with participants’ psychological maladjustment (R = .657; p < .01). This model, with its positive value for victimization (β = .459) and negative value for self-compassion (β = −.373), accounted for 43.2% of the variance in psychological maladjustment The value of the relationship between victimization, independent variable, and psychological maladjustment, dependent variable, is lower when self- compassion is introduced in the model (step 4) than when it is not (step 1): β = .459 vs. β = .548 (see Fig. 1). This is considered by Baron and Kenny (1986) as an indispensable requirement to determine the presence of mediation. If the mediation of self-compassion between the variables would be perfect, the relation between the independent variable and the dependent variable would be reduced to zero when the mediator variable is controlled. Given that, in this study, there is a reduction, the existing mediation is not perfect and, therefore, there could be other factors mediating this relationship. According to Baron and Kenny, the models showing partial mediation are acceptable and more realistic in social science studies because it is not likely that just one factor alone will explain the entire relation between the independent and dependent variables. The mediating effect of self-compassion on the relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment was quantified by calculating the product of two non-standardized coefficients, as recommended by Sobel (1982). These coefficients were obtained from the regression analyses carried out in Steps 4 and 2 of Baron and Kenny's (1986) model (see Table 3). Table 3. Coefficients obtained using Baron and Kenny's (1986) model. Analysis Step 4 Y = 86.447 + 1.948X + (−15.578)M + 15.5 Step 2 M = 3.317 + (−.024)X + .47 Note: Y = psychological maladjustment; X = victimization; M = self-compassion. Bindirect = (−15.578) (−.024) = 0.38. Table options The effect size of the mediating role of self-compassion was significant (indirect effect = 0.38; z = 2.22; p = .02). Thus, the results show a mediating effect of self-compassion on the relationship between victimization and psychological maladjustment which could be termed moderate in accordance with Cohen's (1988) standards, which Shrout and Bolger (2002) suggest applying in such cases. The bootstrapped effect confirms that the indirect effect found is significant because zero (no mediation) does not lie within the interval range (LL = .038 and UL = .84) at 95% of confidence (Preacher & Hayes, 2004). In summary, the results according to Baron and Kenny's (1986) model provide support to the mediating role of self-compassion because: (a) there is a significant correlation between the independent variable (victimization) and the mediator, which is a critical difference with moderator variables; (b) there is a significant correlation between the mediator and the dependent variable (psychological maladjustment); and (c) the correlation between the independent variable and the dependent variable weakens when the mediator is considered. This latter correlation weakens the relationship but did not reduce it to zero. Therefore, the mediation is partial and points to multiple factors in this mediation (Baron & Kenny, 1986).