Changes in the sexual self-schema of women with a history of childhood sexual abuse following expressive writing treatment.

Pulverman, Carey S. and Boyd, Ryan L. and Stanton, Amelia M. and Meston, Cindy M. (2017) Changes in the sexual self-schema of women with a history of childhood sexual abuse following expressive writing treatment. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9 (2). pp. 181-188. ISSN 1942-9681

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Abstract

Objective: Sexual self-schemas are cognitive generalizations about the sexual self that influence the processing of sexually pertinent information and guide sexual behavior. Until recently sexual self-schemas were exclusively assessed with self-report instruments. Recent research using the meaning extraction method, an inductive method of topic modeling, identified 7 unique themes of sexual self-schemas: family and development, virginity, abuse, relationship, sexual activity, attraction, and existentialism from essays of 239 women (Stanton, Boyd, Pulverman, & Meston, 2015). In the current study, these themes were used to examine changes in theme prominence after an expressive writing treatment. Method: Women (n = 138) with a history of childhood sexual abuse completed a 5-session expressive writing treatment, and essays on sexual self-schemas written at pretreatment and posttreatment were examined for changes in themes. Results: Women showed a reduction in the prominence of the abuse, family and development, virginity, and attraction themes, and an increase in the existentialism theme. Conclusions: This study supports the validity of the 7 themes identified by Stanton and colleagues (2015) and suggests that expressive writing may aid women with a history of sexual abuse to process their abuse history such that it becomes a less salient aspect of their sexual self-schemas.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3203
Subjects:
ID Code:
134836
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 09:19
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2020 05:37