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2020, Cilt 10, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 573-583
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2020.417
The Role of Childhood Abuse and Neglect Experiences in Predicting Satisfaction with Life Among University Students: Comparisons Based on Gender and Psychological Problems
Trabzon University, Fatih Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Psychological Counseling and Guidance Department, Trabzon, Turkey
Keywords: Life satisfaction, Child abuse, Child neglect

The aim of this study was to examine the role of childhood abuse and neglect in predicting satisfaction with life among university students. The secondary aim of the study was to compare abuse/neglect experiences in terms of gender and psychological problems. This study is based on the correlational and causal comparison method of the quantitative research approach. The sample group consisted of 439 volunteering university students. When the rates of abuse and neglect experiences of participants were examined; 30.1% had emotional abuse, 24.1% had physical neglect, 18.9% had sexual abuse, 18.7% had emotional neglect, and 16.6% had physical abuse. 53.5% of the participants had one or more childhood abuse or neglect experience(s). As the result of the multiple regression analysis, emotional neglect (β=-.45, p<.001) and physical abuse (β=.19, p=.001) were significant predictors of satisfaction with life when emotional abuse (β=-.04, p>.05), physical neglect (β=-.09, p>.05) and sexual abuse (β=-.07, p>.05) were not significant predictors. The life satisfaction of the participants who had childhood abuse/neglect experience(s) was significantly lower than the participants without such an experience(s) (t=6.028, p<.001). There was no significant difference between males’ and females’ satisfaction with life levels (t=1.290, p>.05). Participants’ rates, who have childhood abuse/neglect experiences, of having mental problems, using psychiatric medicine, and receiving psychological support were higher than those without such an experience. The findings of the study revealed that childhood traumatic experiences adversely affect life satisfaction and mental health. This study, conducted in a non-clinical sample, is important in terms of presenting findings of childhood neglect and abuse rates and comparing individuals with childhood neglect/abuse history and individuals who do not have such a history in terms of various variables.

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