Construct contents of college women with a history of childhood sexual abuse were compared to those of college women with no abuse history using Landfield's (1971) content coding system. The sexual abuse survivors were best discriminated by fewer constructs referring to emotional arousal; to experiences of calm, peacefulness, and relaxation (low forcefulness), and to moral or religious standards. Abused women also used more factual descriptions and fewer constructs referring to freedom from care (low involvement). Sexual abuse history and use of fewer constructs expressing emotional arousal were related to increased symptom distress. Findings are discussed with reference to the constructivist literature on sexual abuse and to the contemporary applicability of Landfield's system for coding Repertory Grid content.
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