Psiholog Angela Groza

Cognitive emotional coping strategies in women abused in their childhood

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GROZA Angela
Associate Professor, PhD, “Ion Creangă” State Pedagogical University of Chisinau, Moldova,
Human 5
PhD student, “Ion Creangă” State Pedagogical University of Chisinau, Moldova,


Cognitive emotional coping strategies

In this article we investigated the presence of child abuse in women; the comparative evaluation of coping strategies, cognitive emotional in two groups of women: abused and non-abused (N = 175). For this purpose, we used the Child Abuse and Trauma Scale (Sanders, Becher-Lausen, 1995), as well as the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ, Garnefski, Kraaij, Spinhoven, 2001). The results show that generally there are differences in which coping strategies are used by non-abused and abused women when it comes to slow adaptable strategies. Such strategies as Self-blaming, Blaming others and Catastrophizing are more frequently utilized in case of women who experienced child-abuse. Non abused women adopt high adaptable strategists in stress management, especially Refocusing on Planning and Positive Reevaluation, where they got high scores. Regarding correlations of cognitive-emotional inter-strategies for women who were abused in childhood, we remark that there are associations between slow adatable strategies, Self-blaming, Catastrophizing and Acceptance; moderated correlations between Acceptance and Rumination.


Every human being starts his or her existential journey with the period of maximum plasticity, with childhood, that is why the echoes of good things and, unfortunately, the bad ones that happen to us, mark us both emotionally and socially throughout life. Therefore, child abuse repercussions leave their mark on a person’s development and maturity, both in adolescence and especially in adulthood, and especially on women. Stress management coping skills to be used by women abused in childhood are less-known.
In psychology literature, coping is described as a dynamic process in which intentional physical or mental actions are involved, based on a stressor, oriented towards internal or environmental conditions. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) define coping as “cognitive and behavioral change efforts to cope with external or internal demands that lead to of exceeding individual’s personal resources”.
Efforts to cope with stress are directed towards the cognitive and behavioral effort of the individual to reduce, control and tolerance internal or external demands that exceed personal resources, involving three stages: anticipation (warning); confrontation (impact); post-confrontation.
In the view of Folkman and Lazarus, the person crosses two evaluation stages. The first time is the analysis of the resources in an attempt to answer the question “Why do I have it to overcome this situation?”, then an assessment of the intuitive possibilities and actions involved in the environmental feed-back reactions, looking for the answer to “What can I do?How will the environment react to my actions? What are my strategies to fight?” The focus on certain coping strategies chosen will be based on the answers to these questions, which play an essential role in the complex process of self regulation.

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