Date of Conferral







Patricia Loun


The power of abuse, either in childhood or in adulthood, is clear in many cases. Yet certain types of abuse are harder to detect and understand. Emotional invalidation is one type of abuse that is characterized by an incongruence or minimization of another person's emotions. This experimental study explored effects of emotional invalidation and emotional validation on people's level of emotional self-efficacy. Participants (n = 230) were recruited through Quest Mindshare using a survey created through SurveyMonkey, and randomly placed into 3 groups. All participants were given a survey that asked them to choose how certain pictures made them feel. In the experimental groups, experimenter feedback was either validating or invalidating. Following the survey, a measure of emotional self-efficacy was measured through the Emotional Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES). An ANCOVA research design was used in order to determine if differences in participant's ESES scores existed between the 3 groups, while controlling for age. The results revealed that the group receiving the invalidating feedback scored significantly lower than did the control group on the ESES score. This finding supports previous research completed with emotional invalidation and involves an aspect of communication that pertains to many different settings and interpersonal relationships including, but not limited to, teachers and students, family members, and friends. This study also has positive social change implications in the mental health field by illuminating the role of invalidating feedback on emotional self-efficacy, a finding which may inform clinicians' work to bolster mental health in all individuals.