AWARE – A study of Women Abused as children, Resilience and life Experiences

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Institute of Medicine

FORTE: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Short description

A large proportion of women have experienced some type of abuse and/or neglect during their childhood. Regardless of the type (physical, mental, sexual abuse, physical or emotional neglect) it has negative consequences for health and wellbeing that can last throughout life. The purpose of the AWARE project is to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the health and social consequences that childhood abuse can have in adulthood by studying the social consequences specifically but also by studying potential protective factors and the development of resilience. Why do some individuals develop positively despite severe adversities? Our expectations are that the knowledge from the project will stimulate initiatives that can promote health and wellbeing in spite of childhood abuse or neglect.

Specific aims of the studies included in the project:

The relation between parental socioeconomic position, psychological problems, and family violence and experiences of emotional neglect in childhood.

This study investigates the development over time of family violence and the unavailability dimension of emotional neglect in childhood, among young adult women. Further, experiences of family violence and childhood emotional neglect are investigated in relation to parental socioeconomic position and parental psychological problems.

Resilience experiences among adult women abused as children

In this qualitative study, experiences of resilience are explored among adult women who perceive wellbeing and well-functioning, although exposed to abuse and/or neglect during childhood.
To Live, Not Only Survive—An Ongoing Endeavor: Resilience of Adult Swedish Women Abused as Children

Perceptions of wellbeing and well-functioning in adulthood described by women abused as children

The aim of this qualitative study is to explore how wellbeing and a well-functioning is perceived and described by adult women who had been exposed to abuse and/or neglect during childhood. 

Long term consequences of childhood abuse in terms of indicators of marginalization and the role of resilience factors

In this study, the long-term consequences of childhood abuse and/or neglect in terms of indicators of marginalization (e.g. long-term unemployment, disability pension, and economic deprivation) are investigated. Further, access to social network and support will be investigated as potential resilience factors.

Recall bias in the reporting of childhood abuse – a longitudinal study

The aim of this studie is to investigate potential recall bias by comparing the consistency in reporting of traumatic experiences at baseline and follow-up. It is previously known that memories can be suppressed which can influence later reporting of trauma which in turn can give inaccurate results when prevalences are examined.