Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Skills training can improve responses to disclosures of trauma

30.03.2011
New research study demonstrates how confidants can learn to be more supportive

New research from the University of Oregon concludes that even brief training can help people learn how to be more supportive when friends and family members disclose traumatic events and other experiences of mistreatment.

"The Impact of Skills Training on Responses to the Disclosure of Mistreatment," by Melissa Ming Foynes and Jennifer J. Freyd was published in the inaugural issue of the new American Psychological Association journal, Psychology of Violence. The study examined the effectiveness of skills training to enhance supportive responses to disclosures of mistreatment perpetrated by someone trusted, cared for or depended upon.

"Friends and family are often the first to hear about experiences of mistreatment, yet many people have not received education or training in how to respond," said Freyd, UO psychology professor and editor for the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation.

Conventional wisdom suggests that disclosure of a traumatic event or abuse is a healthy step toward recovery. And yet, previous research has shown that the way people respond to disclosures can profoundly influence how the survivor heals from the trauma.

"Oftentimes people want to be supportive and are well-intentioned in their efforts, but without training they are not naturally able to provide support in a helpful way," said Foynes, postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Boston Healthcare System. "If survivors feel invalidated or hurt by others' responses, they might choose not to share their experiences again, which may make it harder for them to receive help in their recovery."

For the UO study, which was conducted while Foynes was a doctoral student working with Freyd, 110 pairs of university students participated with a friend or family member. First, participants were asked to write about two experiences, not previously disclosed to the partner, in which they felt mistreated by someone close to them. At random, one person was designated as a "discloser" and the other a "listener."

A trained research assistant then selected, at random, one of these two experiences for the "discloser" to share with the "listener." After completing a series of questionnaires about how they felt this interaction went, participants were given a written handout regarding either supportive listening techniques or healthy lifestyle improvements. After studying the written materials and taking a short quiz on the material, the discloser was asked to share the second experience of mistreatment.

Results showed that listeners who reviewed the skills-training materials describing supportive listening techniques demonstrated significantly fewer unsupportive behaviors than listeners in the control group who studied the materials describing healthy lifestyle improvements. In addition, listeners who demonstrated high levels of unsupportive behaviors during the first disclosure benefited the most from these materials.

"These findings suggest that with only 10 minutes of training, supportive responses to disclosures of mistreatment can be enhanced significantly," said Foynes. "At the same time, we do not believe that this training in and of itself is sufficient for helping people provide the level and quality of support survivors often need."

The skills-training handout described supportive listening techniques, including verbal and nonverbal ways of conveying support. Suggestions were given regarding body language as well as verbal responses that would likely be perceived as nonjudgmental and validating and encourage the discloser to continue talking. The skills-training handout for the control group described healthy lifestyle improvements about nutrition, exercise and sleep hygiene tips.

The results were measured by the discloser's evaluation of the supportive behaviors to provide insight into the interpersonal dynamic between the discloser and the listener.

"In this study, using disclosers' perspectives to assess whether the training translated into actual behavioral changes was an important improvement upon past research," said Foynes. "This research is an important step in increasing awareness of the importance of supportive responding and providing guidance that will hopefully make the task of supportive responding more attainable."

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities as providing "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Julie Brown, UO media relations, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu or Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu

SOURCES: Jennifer J. Freyd, 541-346-4950, jjf@uoregon.edu; http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/; Melissa Ming Foynes, 857-364-2051, melissa.foynes2@va.gov

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uoregon.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>