Adult daughters of battered women: recovery and posttraumatic growth following childhood adversity

Authors:
ANDERSON Kim M., DANIS Fran S., HAVIG Kirsten
Journal article citation:
Families in Society, 92(2), April 2011, pp.154-160.
Publisher:
The Alliance for Children and Families

As highlighted in a previous study on adult daughters of battered women, along with the entire range of debilitating effects of trauma, most individuals display a stunning capacity for survival and perseverance. This paper examines the recovery process for 15 adult daughters of battered women in the United States. Qualitative inquiry revealed that participants’ recovery involved a cognitive restructuring of childhood misconceptions of themselves, their parents, and the trauma itself. Key to this transformation process and, consequently allowing for posttraumatic growth, was an interwoven process of meaning-making including two specific elements of understanding: the cause and effect of domestic violence and the significance of suffering from such exposure in childhood. Distancing from their parents, education on domestic violence, accessing therapeutic/support services and having a spiritual connection contributed to enhanced insight and wisdom. Implications suggest that professionals should look for ways to help identify and support adult daughters’ in recognising their abilities to learn and grow from negative experiences.

Subject terms:
mothers, recovery approach, traumas, children, domestic violence;
Content type:
research
Location(s):
United States
Link:
Journal home page
ISSN print:
1044-3894

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