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Development and Validation of a Measure of Emotional Distress in Survivors of Group Psychological Abuse

  • Omar Saldaña (a1), Emma Antelo (a1), Carmen Almendros (a2) and Álvaro Rodríguez-Carballeira (a1)

Abstract

In the context of the negative consequences of psychological abuse, a scale was developed to specifically assess the emotional disturbances in individuals who had experienced abusive behaviors over a period of time within a cultic group. The Emotional Distress Scale in Survivors of Abusive Groups (EDS-SAG) was administered, along with other relevant measures of group psychological abuse and psychopathological symptoms, to 706 Spanish-speaking former members of different groups, distributed into two samples according to whether they had experienced group psychological abuse (n = 413) or not (n = 293). Analyses supported a unidimensional structure of the 18 items on the EDS-SAG, explaining 50.7% of the total variance. This factorial solution was found to be stable when the sample of victims was split by sex and by the age of involvement in the group. Results also showed adequate reliability of the scores and significant associations between the scores on the EDS-SAG and the scores on measures of group psychological abuse (PAEGS: .86, p < .001) and psychopathological symptoms (BSI: .30, p < .001; PTCI: .46, p < .001). The results obtained reveal that this new scale is a suitable tool for measuring emotional distress in Spanish-speaking survivors of abusive groups. In the research field, it would be possible to evaluate the antecedents of emotional distress or their protective factors. In applied contexts, it would be possible to rigorously evaluate the emotional difficulties of abuse victims, allowing a better diagnosis and therapeutic approach. All of this will contribute to the assessment and understanding of the long-term consequences of group psychological abuse.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Álvaro Rodríguez Carballeira. Departamento de Psicología Social y Psicología Cuantitativa, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Barcelona, Pg. Vall d’Hebron 171, 08035 Barcelona (Spain). Phone: +34933125177. E-mail: alvaro.rodriguez@ub.edu

Footnotes

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This research was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (PSI2016-75915-P, AEI/FEDER, EU).

How to cite this article:

Saldaña, O., Antelo, E., Almendros, C., & Rodríguez-Carballeira, A. (2019). Development and validation of a measure of emotional distress in survivors of group psychological abuse. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 22. e33. Doi:10.1017/sjp.2019.32

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References

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Development and Validation of a Measure of Emotional Distress in Survivors of Group Psychological Abuse

  • Omar Saldaña (a1), Emma Antelo (a1), Carmen Almendros (a2) and Álvaro Rodríguez-Carballeira (a1)

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