Can positivity be counterproductive when suffering domestic abuse?: a narrative review

Sinclair, Ellen, Hart, Rona and Lomas, Tim (2020) Can positivity be counterproductive when suffering domestic abuse?: a narrative review. International Journal of Wellbeing, 10 (1). pp. 26-53. ISSN 1179-8602

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Positive Psychology has been criticized for making people feel pressured to remain positive irrespective of circumstances. This narrative review specifically investigates the relationship between positive attitudes and denial in the context of domestic abuse, in order to examine whether there is research evidence to support the critique on the adverse upshots of positivity. The search yielded 29 studies. Overall the literature suggests that misdirected or overgeneralized positivity exacerbates harm and abuse: an optimistic bias can put victims in danger; empathy, hope, acceptance and resilience are associated with refraining to leave abusive relationships; and forgiveness increases the likelihood of further transgressions. We therefore argue that scholars and practitioners need demonstrate care in promoting positivity, since it can be detrimental within a toxic context.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Domestic abuse, Narrative review, Positivity, Denial
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 08:54
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 09:00

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