Roles of Emotional Reactions and Potency in Coping with Abusive Experiences of Indian Adolescent

Abstract

Victimized children’s perceptions of the severity of abusive incidents have been found to be associated with their willingness to disclose. However, the relationship between perceptions, disclosure, and coping processes of abused Indian adolescents, has rarely been studied. To explore the roles of emotional reactions associated with disclosure, and potency on individuals’ perception of the severity of abusive incidents, reluctance to disclose, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. A randomly selected sample, consisting of 324 adolescents (aged 12 to 16) in Kolkata, India was included. Of these, 170 adolescents disclosed incidents of abuse last year. Data were analyzed by conditional process modeling. A moderated mediation analysis (n = 170) revealed that the overall perception of the severity of abusive incidents predicted greater reluctance to disclose (B = .63, p < .0001) through heightened emotional reactions, especially with a higher potency level (B = .07, p < .05; B = .1, p < .05). Potency moderated (B = −.02, p = .01) the effect of reluctance on posttraumatic stress symptoms. When tested on the entire sample (324) the results replicated the sub-sample (170). Adolescents revealed similar results irrespective of their exposure. The reluctance to disclose abuse is discussed from an Indian cultural and societal perspective.

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Acknowledgments

The Emili Sagol Research Center for Creative Arts Therapies and the University of Calcutta.

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Correspondence to Atreyee Bhattacharyya.

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Bhattacharyya, A., Lev-Wiesel, R. & Banerjee, M. Roles of Emotional Reactions and Potency in Coping with Abusive Experiences of Indian Adolescent. Journ Child Adol Trauma 14, 61–72 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-020-00312-2

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Keywords

  • Abuse
  • Perception
  • Disclosure
  • Coping
  • Posttraumatic stress symptoms
  • Indian adolescents