Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Cognitive Models of post-traumatic stress following child maltreatment: a systematic review; 2) Implementing multi-family therapy (MFT) within a community eating disorder service for children and young people (CEDS-CYP); 3: Why do some young adults develop Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following intimate partner violence?

  • Hannah Wiseman

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is prevalent amongst young adults. This study aimed to explore whether cognitive models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be applied to understand post-trauma outcomes of young adults (18–25 years old) exposed to IPV. Participants (N=399) completed an online survey that assessed history of IPV, PTSD symptoms and post-trauma psychological processes of memory, appraisals, shame and thought suppression. Path modelling was used to investigate relations between psychological processes and IPV characteristics in the development of PTSD. In the context of all other psychological processes and IPV characteristics, results showed that sensory-based trauma memories, negative self-appraisals, and shame were associated with increased risk of PTSD, and that shame partly explained the relationship between memory and PTSD, and negative self-appraisals and PTSD. Sensory-based memories and shame were associated with increased use of thought suppression strategies, and there was trend-level evidence that thought suppression led to increased risk of PTSD. Thought suppression did not explain any relations between memory and PTSD or appraisals and PTSD. Being younger, having higher levels of education, experiencing a greater number of abuse-types, and being involved in IPVrelated court proceedings were risk factors for PTSD, whilst recent experience of being in a non-abusive relationship was a protective factor. This study concluded that cognitive models of PTSD are applicable for understanding the development of PTSD following IPV but that the role of shame needs to be emphasised. Interventions that target maladaptive appraisals, shame and thought suppression may be useful in this population.
Date of Award23 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorCatherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor) & Rachel Hiller (Supervisor)

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