Referencia: Saldaña, O., Rodríguez-Carballeira, A., Almendros, C., & Guilera, G. (2018). Group psychological abuse and psychopathological symptoms: The mediating role of psychological stress. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Autores: Omar Saldaña, Álvaro Rodríguez-Carballeira, Carmen Almendros y Georgina Guilera.

Idioma: Inglés

Resumen: In the context of the long-term effects of psychological abuse, this study examined psychological stress and psychopathological symptoms in survivors of groups with cultic dynamics where abusive behaviors take place on an ongoing basis. We specifically tested the mediating role of psychological stress suffered after the departure from the group between the group psychological abuse experienced and current psychopathology. An online questionnaire was administered to 608 Spanish-speaking former members of different groups. We distributed participants into a sample of victims (N = 365) and a sample of non-victims (N = 243), according to whether or not they reported having experienced group psychological abuse. Moderate associations were found among group psychological abuse, psychological stress, and psychopathological symptoms. Greater differences in psychological stress intensity between samples were related to personal conflicts (η² = .30) and social relations (η² = .29). Greater differences in psychopathological symptoms were related to paranoid ideation ( = .17), psychoticism (η²= .15), depression (η² = .15), and interpersonal sensitivity (η² = .13). Moreover, mediation testing demonstrated that psychological stress partially mediated the impact of group psychological abuse on psychopathological symptoms. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the long-term effects of group psychological abuse. Survivors of abusive groups not only need help in dealing with psychopathological symptoms, but they also need resources to cope with stressful environmental demands. Interventions should address both psychological stress and clinical symptoms in order to promote survivors’ health and wellbeing during their integration process into the outgroup society.

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