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Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Salutogenic Approach

Cunnington, Claire (2019) Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Salutogenic Approach. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

There is a great deal of research into multiple aspects of childhood sexual abuse, including prevalence, effects, treatment and recovery. However, very little research focusses on the knowledge held by people who have experienced CSA, and far fewer studies are designed by people who have experienced it. This thesis outlines insider designed and delivered research. It employs a salutogenic approach to examine what helps and hinders recovering. These issues are explored through thematic analysis of a qualitative survey (n=140) and 21 interviews. Participants described three types of harm caused by the abuse they had experienced, including physical and mental health consequences but also an underlying, enduring sense of danger. The results demonstrate that adults who have experienced CSA are active in their recovering, which they conceptualise as a movement towards health and well-being, rather than a binary of either being ill or well. Health services were very useful, particularly counselling and therapy. Respondents also valued personal relationships and interactions in supporting recovering. Finally, they described a sense of flow, a pleasurable absorption in a task, as being highly beneficial. However, they also described the ways in which society, at every level from micro to macro, inhibited recovering. Thus, they called for fundamental societal change, challenging destructive discourses around CSA and inhibiting structural issues. Further research is required to establish if these beneficial actions and challenges apply equally to individuals who identify as being in earlier stages of recovering.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: child childhood sexual abuse recovery recovering discourse health wellbeing well-being CSA CSE
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Sociological Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.806872
Additional Information:

This thesis does not focus on abuse but may be triggering for people with cPTSD.

Depositing User: Dr Claire Cunnington
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 10:21
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26956

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