Marilyn Welsh

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Research reports that children who are exposed to maltreatment are more likely to experience adverse effects; however, also shows strengths in resiliency. Child maltreatment is defined as any act(s) by a parent(s) or caregiver(s), resulting in harm, threat of harm to a child, including physical, sexual, psychological, neglect, or failure of supervision. The focus of this study was to investigate how childhood maltreatment, emotion regulation and resilience interact with each other in an academic setting, using self-report measures. It was predicted that elevated levels of childhood maltreatment would be associated with academic resilience. It was hypothesized that emotion dysregulation would be correlated with both maltreatment and academic resilience and, thus, serve as a mediator in the pathway. The study had a total of 124 students voluntarily participate by answering survey items from the Childhood Trauma, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation, and Academic Resilience Scale, during the Fall 2022 semester. Findings demonstrated significant correlations. Higher scores of maltreatment were predictive of lower scores of academic resilience on all scales. Maltreatment histories correlated positively with all aspects of emotion dysregulation. Among the relationships, difficulties commonly found with emotion dysregulation predicted controlling negative emotions in hypothetical academic failure situations. Emotion dysregulation fully mediated the pathways between a history of emotional abuse and academic resilience (both controlling negative emotions and perseverance). These results suggest strongly that students with a history of childhood maltreatment likely suffer from emotion dysregulation, which correlates to academic struggle and are in need of additional support systems to mitigate the disadvantage.

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