Disgust as a Unique Affective Predictor of Mental Contamination Following Sexual Trauma
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Mental contamination has been described as an internal experience of dirtiness that can arise and per- sist in the absence of contact with observable physical contaminants. Recent research has examined mental contamination specifically related to unwanted physical contact and sexual trauma. This study evaluated the degree to which disgust propensity and both self-focused and perpetrator-focused peri- traumatic disgust were associated with mental contamination in a sample of women who experienced sexual trauma (n = 72). Results showed that peritraumatic self-focused disgust, but not peritraumatic perpetrator-focused disgust or fear, was significantly associated with mental contamination. Addition- ally, disgust propensity contributed significantly to the incremental validity of the model. These findings support the nascent literature showing that disgust plays a significant role in mental contamination, particularly following sexual trauma. Future research directions, and clinical/theoretical implications of these results are discussed.
Badour, C.L., Ojserkis, R., McKay, D., & Feldner, M.T. (2014). Disgust as a unique affective predictor of mental contamination following sexual trauma. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 704-711.
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