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Original Article

The role of spirituality and forgiveness in childhood trauma

Berna Güloğlu, Özlem Karaırmak, Ekin Emiral.

Objective: Considered as a childhood trauma, neglect and abuse has a negative impact on the mental and physical health of individuals and they also believe that the world they live in is an unsafe, unfair, and meaningless place. It is highly important to examine how the concepts of spirituality and forgiveness occur with the individuals exposed to childhood trauma. Hence, the present study consists of two phases. The aim of the first phase was to investigate the differences among childhood trauma of the participants in terms of gender. The aim of second phase of the study was to assess the differences in spirituality, forgiveness, forgiving others, forgiving self, and forgiving situation among individuals who exposed to childhood trauma. Methods: The study group consists of 536 university students (413 women, 123 men). In the study, short version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFA), and Spirituality Scale (SS) were used. The study findings were analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Results: According to findings, gender has a main effect on sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, and emotional abuse. Men were exposed much more physical abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse compared to women. On the other hand, individuals who exposed to childhood trauma have lower scores on total score of spirituality and forgiveness, and subscale scores of forgiving oneself, forgiving others, and forgiving situations compared to individuals who did not exposed to childhood trauma. Discussion: Childhood abuse and neglect among university students who don’t diagnosed clinically were extremely high. It was also understood that childhood abuse and neglect has a negative impact on spirituality, forgiving others, forgiving self, and forgiving situation among individuals who exposed to childhood trauma.

Key words: spirituality, forgiveness, childhood trauma, abuse, neglect

Article Language: Turkish English

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