The current study describes the impact of trauma on the perceptual thinking processes of participants who have sustained repeated criminal victimisation in South Africa. Fifteen adult males, (mean age 40.73 years) participated voluntarily in this descriptive study. The Rorschach Inkblot Method (RIM) is the psychometric instrument used to describe the participants and Exner’s Comprehensive System (CS) is the method of interpretation employed. The Perceptual Thinking Index (PTI) is the cluster of variables selected to describe each participant’s level of reality testing and perceptual functioning. Together with this, the D and Adjusted D Score variables are discussed to describe the participants’ overall and current coping capacities. From the research findings yielded in this study, it appears that the majority of these participants (73%) can be described as experiencing problems in terms of their perceptual thinking processes. They are also unable to appropriately engage in accurate reality testing. The results of the research study may serve as an incentive for further studies of this nature as according to the RIM, participants with this level of impaired reality testing generally present with psychotic features. However, these research results were found in participants who present with an absence of a psychotic or any schizophrenic type disorder diagnoses. Other researchers who used the RIM to assess trauma victims have found results similar to this. Furthermore, participants who present with this level of impaired reality testing, generally experience severe problems in coping with basic psychological aspects of daily functioning. This however, does not appear to be the case with this sample group, which was one of the motivating factors for conducting this research. A concluding suggestion is made for possible research into investigating how, and at what expense, other psychological features of functioning are employed, in order to manage in a seemingly well-adaptive manner.
Dissertation (MA (Clinical Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.