Don't Call Me "It": Examining the Relationship Between Experiences of Child Abuse and Creativity as an Adult
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Researchers have conducted numerous studies examining the effects of one?s home life on future success; however, only a small portion of that research covers the specific effects that negative home environments can have on adult creativity. Seeing a close relationship between upbringing and the creative mind, one can infer that childhood abuse has a significant influence on an adult?s ability to reach high levels of creative achievement. Experiencing abuse at an early age inhibits feelings of psychological safety and may limit creative potential as well. Researchers who have conducted studies in this area have found mixed results on the relationship between child abuse and creativity. To explore this topic, each participant was given the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults. This test measures four aspects of creativity: fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration. Each participant was also given the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), which provided a quantitative measure of abuse experiences for each individual. The study hypothesized that individuals who score higher on the CTQ will score lower on the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults. Although the results were not statistically significant, they supported the hypothesis that measures of abuse were negatively correlated with creativity scores. Having identified a relationship between abuse and creativity, experts in the field of creativity should conduct further studies to deepen the understanding of how abusive environments discourage creative production.
Boothe, Courtney R. (2010). Don't Call Me "It": Examining the Relationship Between Experiences of Child Abuse and Creativity as an Adult. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from