This study investigated the role spirituality plays in the recovery process of female
childhood sexual abuse survivors (CSA). Fourteen female CSA survivors participated in
individual interviews. They responded to questions regarding their spiritual development
across the recovery process, effects of spirituality on their interpersonal and intrapersonal
processes, and obstacles to their spiritual development. Data were analyzed using
Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR; Hill et al., 1997) to identify major themes that
include: 1) participants distinguished between spirituality and religion; 2) the role of
spirituality varied across their recovery process; 3) many had a positive spiritual role
model/mentor during their childhood; 4) ongoing sexual abuse led to rebellion as
adolescents/young adults (e.g., anger against God’s failure to intervene, self-destructive
behaviors that further exacerbated mistrust, shame and alienation; and 5) participants
eventually reached spiritual reconciliation, which they viewed as the greatest single
factor in their recovery. Practice and research recommendations are provided.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. October 2008. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Patricia McCarthy Veach, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 177 pages, appendices A-C.
Houg, Bonnie Louise.
The Role of Spirituality in the Ongoing Recovery Process of Female Sexual Abuse Survivors.
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