Topic: Disasters, terror and stress management

Am I an island? A network analysis exploring aspects of social landscapes after childhood violence

Birkeland, M. S., Strøm, I. F., Myhre, M. C., & Thoresen, S. (2019). Am I an island? A network analysis exploring aspects of social landscapes after childhood violence. Psychological Trauma. doi:10.1037/tra0000483

This study suggests that the social landscapes of individuals exposed to childhood violence may be difficult to navigate, and that perceived negative responses from other people can add to the burden.

Objective: Exposure to violence during childhood can have severe long-term consequences for social relationships. In the current study, we sought to disentangle some of the phenomena involved by utilizing a network approach to study the perceptions of aspects of social landscapes in young adulthood of victims of childhood violence. Method: We used network analysis to describe the connections between perceived positive social support, barriers to social support, violence-related shame, childhood family cohesion, and perceived negative responses from others for 443 individuals exposed to childhood violence. Results: Respondents’ enjoyment of spending time with family in childhood was strongly connected to many other aspects of their social landscapes. The highest values for expected influence were found for worrying about what others thought and experiencing support from others. Finding that other people withdrew from them after the violence had occurred had both high strength centrality and a high value of expected influence and was associated with shame and barriers to social support. Conclusions: The results suggest that these elements can play important roles in the social landscapes of victims of childhood violence. Further research specifying the directionality between these elements is necessary. It may be helpful for clinicians working with victims of childhood violence to explore their perceptions of their social landscapes

The Researchers