Source Publication

Qualitative Health Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2008

Abstract

A narrative study of thriving adult female survivors of childhood maltreatment was undertaken to discover how they had achieved success. Life trajectory patterns, turning points, and setbacks were identified. Data consisted of 81 interview transcripts derived from a series of three interviews, spaced over 6 to 12 months, with 27 survivors. The childhood abuse was intrafamilial, beginning as early as infancy and continuing, in most cases, until participants left home. The onset and pace of the healing trajectory were quite variable, including a roller-coaster pattern as well as patterns of slow, steady progress and continued struggle. Four types of redemption narratives were delineated. Survivors had not been spared depression but had made achievements in work and education and displayed remarkable generativity, parenting their own children well, and mentoring other young girls, especially victims of abuse.

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