Childhood Abuse, Percieved Social Support, Cogntive Appraisal and Coping Strategies in Patients with Conversion Disorder and Normal Individuals

Author: Samarah Liaquat

Supervisor: Aisha Sitwat, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2012-2014

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present research was conducted to investigate the childhood abuse, perceived social support, cognitive appraisal and coping strategies in patients with conversion disorder and normal individuals. It was hypothesized that different types of childhood abuse and neglect would likely to be more prevalent and at severe level in clinical group as compared to the non-clinical individuals; both groups would likely to differ on childhood abuse, perceived social support, cognitive appraisal, coping strategies and all the variables would differentially predict conversion disorder in comparison to non- clinical group. A sample 200 of participants with 100 in clinical group, i.e. patients already diagnosed with conversion disorder (mean age=27.00 years, SD= 5.27) and 100 non-clinical participants (mean age=27.01 years, SD= 5.23) was recruited from government hospitals and community respectively, using correlational research between subject design. Demographic information questionnaire, Screening and Diagnostic Questionnaire for Psychiatric Disorders (Rahman, Sitwat, Dawood & Khawar, 2008), Child Abuse and Neglect scale (Yousif & Sitwat, 2010), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet & Farley, 1988), and Brief COPE (Carver, 1997) were used. Urdu version of all research instruments were administered to research participants. The data were analyzed using SPSS 21. The results of chi- square analysis revealed that participants of clinical group reported moderate to severe emotional, physical and sexual abuse significantly more as compared to the other group whereas the non-clinical participants reported mild emotional and physical abuse more than the clinical group. Results of the t-test revealed that participants of clinical group were significantly higher on childhood abuse and neglect, perception of threat, centrality, uncontrollability and avoidance emotional coping whereas non-clinical individuals were higher on perceived social support, cognitive appraisal of challenge, controllability and problem focused coping. Moreover, logistic regression revealed that among all the study variables, appraisal of uncontrollability, stressfulness and avoidant emotional coping emerged as significant predictors of group with conversion disorder. However, odd ratios suggested that all types of childhood abuse and neglect, lack of perceived social support, perception of stressors as less challenging and more uncontrollable and use of avoidant focused coping strategies increase the likelihood of having conversion.

Keywords: Childhood Abuse, Social Support, Cogntive Appraisal, Coping , Conversion Disorder.

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