The process of healing child physical abuse: Sprouting and twining

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Background: Child physical abuse impacts the physical and psychological health of survivors. Healing child abuse is an essential process that helps survivors reorganize the meaning of the trauma and pursue a normal life. Considering the trauma of child physical abuse within the social context allows the experiences of individual survivors to be reflected in their process of healing. Purpose: To explore the social interaction and construction process of healing experienced by survivors of child physical abuse. Methods: A qualitative research design using grounded theory was applied. Purposive and theoretical sampling was used to recruit survivors of childhood physical abuse who had experienced healing. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used and data were analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. Results: The process of healing child physical abuse in this study was a process of sprouting and twining. Three core categories emerged: thriving, relationships, and ethics. The healing process was analogous to a seed growing in poor soil, sprouting out from the ground, and striving to live by seeking support. The survivors constantly established interactive relationships with their selves and with others and struggled to keep family bonds grounded and growing within the frame of ethics. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The healing process of sprouting and twining for child physical abuse survivors in Taiwan integrates thriving, relationships, and ethics. Professionals working with child-physical-abuse survivors must recognize conflicts in ethics. Strategies should be developed to assist survivors to cope with the impact of childhood trauma in order to facilitate the healing process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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