Life satisfaction in adulthood among those who experienced trauma in early childhood [electronic resource]: a qualitative study

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ABSTRACT The present study examined the relationship between the experience of trauma during childhood (ages birth -12 years) and life satisfaction in adulthood (ages of 30-45) in a sample of

ABSTRACT The present study examined the relationship between the experience of trauma during childhood (ages birth -12 years) and life satisfaction in adulthood (ages of 30-45) in a sample of convenience consisting of eight (8) adults, six (6) women and two (2) men, who volunteered to participate in this qualitative study, and self-identified as having experienced trauma between birth and age 12 years. Participants were asked to describe the trauma(s) they experienced in childhood and to discuss their thoughts and feelings about present circumstances in their lives, and how their lives have been impacted by the trauma they experienced. Data were collected via in-person interviews that were audio-taped and transcribed. The data were analyzed using a process of thematic coding. Nine (9) emotional themes were identified: aggression, anger, fear, frustration, helplessness, insecurity, irritability, loneliness and sadness. Participants reported a variety of traumas experienced, and their responses to difficult experiences were varied. Participants reported being impacted differently in eight domains of life that were examined in the study: mood related problems, self-care, social support, primary partner relationship, career, decision to have children, parenting and adult life satisfaction. All participants stated they had been impacted by early life trauma, and all stated that early-experienced trauma(s) had an impact on their life satisfaction in adulthood. Inter-coder reliability for emotional thematic codes and domains of life impacted by early trauma was .82.