Avoidance mediates the relationship between perceived criticism in the family of origin and psychological distress in adulthood

M. Zachary Rosenthal, Melissa A Polusny, Victoria M. Follette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined a mediational model whereby avoidance was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between higher perceived criticism in the family of origin and psychological distress in adulthood. Undergraduate women (N = 141) completed self-report instruments assessing perceptions of criticism in the family of origin, avoidant coping, experiential avoidance, and psychological distress. The mediational model was tested using procedures outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986). Support was found for the hypothesized model: (a) Higher perceived criticism was associated with higher avoidance, (b) higher avoidance was associatedwith greater distress, (c) higher perceived criticism was associated with greater distress, and (d) the relationship between perceived criticism and distress was non-significant when adding avoidance into the model. Results suggest that avoidance may be an emotion regulation strategy associated with perceived criticism in the family of origin that exacerbates psychological problems in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Emotional Abuse
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 30 2006

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Avoidance
  • Family environment
  • Invalidation

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