13 November 2023
Childhood Maltreatment | Consummatory Pleasure | Anticipatory Pleasure | Physical Anhedonia | Interpersonal Anhedonia | Self- compassion | Childhood traumatic experiences | Childhood
- Anhedonia is a construct that has not been adequately researched in general population. The majority of the research has investigated anhedonia in the context of psychological diagnoses such as MDD, Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, and PTSD. This dissertation aimed to identify whether childhood experiences of emotional neglect lead to the development of anhedonia in a general population sample. Furthermore, it investigated how those experiences specifically affected the four different types of anhedonia. The types were physical consummatory, anticipatory anhedonia, interpersonal consummatory and anticipatory anhedonia. In addition, it investigated whether the effect of emotional neglect and anhedonia was mediated by selfcompassion. This research aimed to fill a gap in the literature where focus was placed on specific subtypes of anhedonia and other subtypes were ignored. Furthermore, it investigated how emotional neglect can cause deficits in reward processing in healthy populations. Finally, it investigated whether these effects would be mediated by self-compassion. These goals were tested through a quantitative survey study, which assessed the prevalence of experiences of emotional neglect retrospectively, while also measuring levels of anhedonia and self-compassion. Data was collected through online questionnaires and analyzed via correlations, 3 simple linear regressions, hierarchical regressions, and mediation analyses using bootstrapping methodology. The results displayed a small (2-2.8%) yet statistically significant effect of emotional neglect experiences on levels of anticipatory interpersonal and physical anhedonia. A similar trend was observed in the analysis of anticipatory physical anhedonia (2%) and consummatory interpersonal anhedonia (1.1%). Self-compassion acted as a mediator between emotional neglect and both consummatory and anticipatory interpersonal anhedonia. This mediator relationship was not observed for the physical anhedonia variables. This dissertation is one of the few that have studied anhedonia taking into account the complete conceptualization of the construct. It is also one of the few research projects that have investigated how emotional neglect affected anhedonia in a general population sample
A retrospective study of childhood experiences of emotional neglect and self-compassion and their effects on the development of anhedonia and its subtypes.
- PhD thesis
- Childhood Maltreatment -- Emotional intelligence