Research has substantiated negative long-term outcome for many adults who report childhood physical abuse (CPA) or emotionat abuse (CEA) experiences. More recently there has been a focus in the area of trauma recovery on the variable of post-traumatic resilience. lt has been suggested that a primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within the family,yet the relation between perceived family support, resilience, and symptoms of distress in young adults reporting childhood abuse is not well-studied.
The aims of this study were to evaluate the relation between symptomatic distress and adaptive, resilient functioning and to identify the role of family functioning in predicting both negative (trauma symptoms) and positive (resilient) functioning in young adults reporting childhood physical and emotional abuse. Respondents in both abuse groups had significantly lower levels of family of origin (FOS) functioning and elevated levels of trauma (TSI) symptoms, yet no difference in resilience (RS) scores compared to nonabused respondents. ln regression analyses, perceptions of family health did not predict resilience for either form of abuse. By contrast, perceptions of family health predicted of 7 dimensions of symptomatic distress for those reporting physical abuse (n=172) and 3 dimensions for those reporting emotional abuse (n=136). The relation of resilience and symptomatic distress is complex. The Personal Competence dimension of resilience predicted only depression, while the Acceptance of Self and Life dimension predicted level of anxious arousal, depression, anger-irritability, and impaired self-reference in both abuse groups.