Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) on Complex PTSD Symptoms, Acceptance, and Post-traumatic Growth of College Students with Childhood Emotional Abuse

수용전념치료(ACT)가 아동기 정서적 피학대 경험이 있는 대학생의 복합 PTSD 증상, 수용 및 외상 후 성장에 미치는 효과

  • You, SaeBom (Dept. of Psychology, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Son, ChongNak (Dept. of Psychology, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2018.01.30
  • Accepted : 2018.03.20
  • Published : 2018.03.28


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) on Complex PTSD symptoms, acceptance and post-traumatic growth of college students with childhood emotional abuse. Four hundred and fifty students in university completed Acceptance and action Questionnaire(AAQ-II), Structured interview for disorders of extrem stress(SIDES), Korea version posttraumatic growth inventory(K-PTGI). 14 participants was selected from that result. 7 participants were assigned to the ACT group and the others were in the control group. ACT program was administered for 8 sessions twice a week for 2 month, approximately 100 minutes. There was no treatment in the control group. All participants completed post-test at the end of treatment and then follow-up test after 6 weeks. The results were that complex PTSD symptoms level in ACT group was significant decreased and acceptance and post-traumatic growth level in ACT group were significant increased than those in control group at the end of treatment and the follow-up period. Finally, the implications and the limitations of this study, and the suggestions for future study were also discussed.


Acceptance and commitment therapy(ACT);Childhood Emotilnal Abuse;Complex PTSD;Acceptance;Posttraumatic Growth


  1. National Child Protection Agency. (2017).
  2. S. H. Ko, (1989). Studies on defining child abuse in Korea and the perceptual differences between mother and child toward the child abuse. Doctoral dissertation. Seoul National University, Seoul.
  3. J. B. Jang & Y. R. Jeo. (2007). The Mediational Effect of Fear of Criticism and Rejection in the Relationship between Childhood Emotional Abuse and the Level of Depression of Undergraduate Students, Korean Journal of Psychology on The Annual Convention Program, 2007, 204-205.
  4. I. H. Kim & H. J. Song. (2014). The Mediating Effect of the Traumatized Self- System on the Relationship Between Childhood Emotional Abuse and Fear of Intimacy, Journal of Human Understanding and Counseling, 35(2), 65-78.
  5. H. J. Cho & S. Y. Lee. (2014). The Relationship between Childhood Emotional Maltreatment and Early Adulthood Romantic Relationship Satisfaction : The Mediating Effects of Early Maladaptive Schemas and Ambivalence over Emotional Expressiveness, Korean Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27(1), 33-53.
  6. E. J. Cho & K. H. Lee. (2004). The Effect of Emotional Abuse in Childhood on Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills: Mediated by Self-Efficacy and Locus of Control, The Koreaa Journal of Counseling, 5(3), 583-593.
  7. Y. S. La, M. H. Hyn, S. L. Cha, & S. Yoon. (2010). Relationship between a Childhood Emotional Abuse, Symptoms of Complex Posttraumatic Stress, and Forgiveness, Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 29(1), 21-34.
  8. H. N. Ahn, J. Y, Jand, & H, N. Cho. (2009). Conceptualizing Complex Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome as the Disruption of Self-System, Korean Journal of Psychology, 28(2), 283-301.
  9. J. G. Allen. (2005). Coping with trauma: Hope through understanding. Amer Psychiatric Pub Inc.
  10. A. C. Courtois. (2004). complex trauma, complex reactions : Assessment and treatmtnet. Psychotherapy : theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(4), 412-425.
  11. Herman, J. L. (1992a). Complex PTSD: A syndrome in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5, 377-391.
  12. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. (5th ed). Washington, DC: Author.
  13. A. Cook, J. Spinazzola, J. Ford, C. Lanktree, M. Blaustein, M. Cloitre, R.DeRosa, R. Hubbard, R. Kagan, J. Liautaud, K. Mallah, E. Olafson, & B. van der Kolk. (2005). Complex trauma in children and adolescents. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 390-398.
  14. R. G. Tedeschi & L. G. Calhoun. (2004). Post traumatic growth : Contual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 1-18.
  15. R. G. Tedeschi & L. G. Calhoun. (1996). The Posttraumatic growth inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455-471.
  16. J. A. Kim. (2013). A concept map of dacilitating factors for college students' posttraumatic growth. M. A. thesis. Yonsei University, Seoul.
  17. C. Woodward & S. Joseph. (2003). Positive change processes and post-traumatic growth in people who have experienced childhood abuse : Understanding vehicles of change. The British Psychological Society, 76(3), 267-284.
  18. H. N. Ahn. (2007). Empirical Review of Complex Trauma. Korean Journal of Psychology, 26(1), 105-119.
  19. J. Y Jang & H. N. Ahn. (2011). Development and Validation of Traumatized Self-System Scale. Korean Journal Of Counseling And Psychotherapy, 23(2), 359-385.
  20. D. Y. Kim. (2014). The Effects of MBSP-T on the Reduction of Complex PTSD and Suicide Ideation of the Adolescent Victims of School Violence and the Promotion of Helping Behavior of the Peer Group. Doctoral dissertation. Joenbuk National University, Joenju.
  21. L. M. McCracken. (2011). Mindfulness and Acceptance in Behavioral Medicine. Context Pr.
  22. J. B. Luoma, S. C. Hayes, & R. D. Walser. (2007). Learning ACT : an acceptance and commitment therapy skills-training manual for therapists. NewHarbingerPubnsInc.
  23. A. C. Courtois. (2004). Complex trauma, complex reactions : Assessment and treatmtnet. Psychotherapy : Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(4), 412-425.
  24. S. J. Joo & C. N. Son. (2015). Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) on Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms of College Students with Interpersonal Trauma. Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 34(2), 353-374.
  25. P. R. Noh & C. N. Son. (2014). Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on Self-Esteem, Interpersonal Problem, and Ego Resilience of Adolescent with Childhood Trauma. Korean Journal of Health Psychology, 19(4), 885-907.
  26. M. J. Seo & D. Y. Kim. (2012). The Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Emotional Identification, Emotional Expressiveness and Negative Belief of University Students with an Experience of Childhood Emotional Abuse, Korean journal of health psychology, 17(3), 557-572.
  27. D. Pelcovitz, B. van der Kolk, S. Roth, F. Mandel, S. Kaplan & P. Resick. (1997). Development of a criteria set and a structured interview for disorders of extreme stress (SIDES). Journal of Trauma Stress, 10(1), 3-16.
  28. J. H, Jeong & H. N. Ahn. (2013). School Violence in Adolescents as a Complex Trauma, Korean Journal Of Counseling And Psychotherapy, 25(1), 111-133.
  29. S. C. Hayes, K. D. Strosahl, K. G. Wilson, R. Bissett, J. Pistorello, D. Toarmino, M. A. Polusny, T. A. Dykstra, S. V. Batten, J. Bergan, S. H. Stewart, M. J. Zvolensky, G. H. Eifert, F. W. Bond, J. P. Forsyth, M. Karekla, & S. M. Mccurry, (2004)"Measuring experiential avoidance: A preliminary test of a working model", The Psychological Record, 54, 553-578.
  30. F. W. Bond, S. C. Hayes, R. A. Baer, K. M. Carpenter, N. Guenole, H. K. Orcutt, T. Waltz, & R. D. Zettle. Preliminary psychometric properties of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire - II: A revised measure of psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance. Behavior Therapy.
  31. J. H. Heo, M. S. Chio, & H. J. Jin. (2009). Study on the Reliability and Validity of Korean Translated Acceptance-Action Questionnaire- 2, Korean Journal Of Counseling And Psychotherapy, 21(4), 861-878.
  32. S. H. Song, H. S. Lee, J. H. Park, & K. H. Kim. (2009). Validity and Reliability of the Korean Version of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, Korean Journal of Health Psychology, 14(1), 193-214..
  33. V. M. Follette & J. Pistorello. (2007). Finding Life Beyound Trauma; Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Heal from Post-Traumatic Stress and Trauma-Related Problems. New Harbinger.
  34. H. M. Moon. (2006). Development and validation of the program for facilitation of psychological acceptance based on acceptance & commitment therapy model. Doctoral dissertation. Catholic University, Seoul.
  35. S. C. Hayes & S. Smith. (2005). Get out of your mind & into your life. New Harbinger.
  36. T. Jankowski, & P. Holas, (2014). Metacognitive model of mindfulness. Consciousness and cognition, 28, 64-80.
  37. M. Dekeyser, F. Raes, M. Leijssen, S. Leysen & D. Dewulf, (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(5), 1235-1245.
  38. A. R. Ko. (2012). The effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Psychological distress, negative emotion and posttraumatic growth in traumatic experiences related to death of adolescence. M. A. thesis. Duksung Womens University, Seoul.
  39. Y. S. Park. (2013). The effects of intentional rumination and psychological acceptance on posttraumatic growth, M. A. thesis. Catholic University. Seoul.
  40. E. A. Han. (2015). The effect of two types of rumination on posttraumatic growth : Testing moderating effect of psychological acceptance. M. A. thesis. Seoul National University, Seoul.
  41. K, H. Kim, (2016). A Convergence Study about Meta-Analysis on the Effects of ACT Intervention Program. Journal of the Kora Convergence Society. 7(5), 145-153.