Images of God in Abused and Nonabused College Students
The Problem: This study investigated differences in abused college student's perceptions of God, their parents and family, and themselves. It was hypothesized that persons who had been abused would view God, their parents and family, and themselves more negatively. Procedure: This study examined 134 abused and 51 nonabused college students' perceptions through self-report questionnaires assessing their reports of abuse, and their perceptions of God, their parents and family, and themselves. Findings: The abused group saw their mothers, fathers, and families significantly more negatively than the nonabused group. The two groups did not differ in their views of God or themselves. A set of hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that sexual abuse was predictive of a deistic and worthless view of God and the mother image as being the most predictive of the image of God. Conclusions: Persons who have experienced sexual abuse tend to have a view of God as deistic and worthless. A person who has experienced abuse, in any form, appears to view their parents and family more negatively than nonabused persons. Recommendations: Further research is needed in understanding what factors influence God images. Also, more reliable and valid measures need to be found for measuring both abuse occurrences and God images.
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