Emotional Maltreatment within the school context: a preliminary investigation in Greek schools
Although emotional maltreatment within the family context has been extensively investigated, maltreatment by educators has not been adequately addressed (e.g. McEnvoy, 2005). Students’ early experiences with adult educators may have adverse outcomes on their ability to function over time (Whitted & Dupper, 2008). The occurrence of emotional abuse in schools is supported by limited empirical data. The present study seeks to enrich the scarce literature in general and to scientifically document the frequency of abusive experiences in Greek primary schools. The “Psychological Maltreatment Subscale of the revised version of Student Alienation and Trauma Survey” (Whitted & Dupper, 2008) was employed to determine the nature and the frequency of emotional abusive experiences reported by students within the school context. The scale was adapted into the Greek language for the purposes of the present research. The Psychological Maltreatment Subscale exhibited good psychometric properties regarding the present sample. Participants were asked to indicate whether a member of the educational staff engaged in specific behaviors which might constitute emotional abuse and to report the frequency of such behaviors. Findings are discussed as to their implications for the psychosocial functioning of children within the Greek educational system.
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