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family scapegoat quiz self-test

Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) Self-Test

This questionnaire is informed by my original research on what I named ‘Family Scapegoating Abuse’ (FSA). It is for educational purposes only and is not a diagnostic tool.


Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) can happen in any type of dysfunctional family system, not just a narcissistic one. Learn about the impact my research on FSA is having around the world.

Rejected Shamed Blamed Book

My Book on FSA

Check out my best-selling introductory book on Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)

Rebecca C Mandeville FSA Expert

About Rebecca

Learn more about Rebecca’s research and efforts to raise awareness about FSA

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Despite the devastating consequences to adult survivors, scapegoating in families remains an under-researched, poorly understood dysfunctional family process. If you’ve experienced any of the below, you may be the ‘identified patient’ or ‘scapegoat’ in your family:

  • Your family has a ‘story’ about you (what I call the ‘scapegoat narrative’) and via this ‘story’ (which is typically promoted and repeated within your nuclear and extended family) your character is distorted; your ‘faults’ are magnified and emphasized; and your poor treatment by those who scapegoat you, malign you, and psycho-emotionally abuse you within your family-of-origin is (in their minds) justified.
  • You have been rejected, shamed, blamed, or bullied by family members. Any feelings you have about this are dismissed, diminished, or denied.
  • You’ve been the victim of a family ‘smear’ campaign designed to discredit you, defame you, or destroy your reputation.
  • You’ve been called a “liar”; a “faker”; or “crazy” by one or more members of your family.
  • You’ve been called “too sensitive”; “dramatic”; or “difficult” by one or more members of your family.
  • Your accomplishments and successes are ignored and go unacknowledged by your family.
  • You feel frustrated, angry, or confused due to feeling rejected, shamed, blamed, or bullied by your family-of-origin.
  • You have considered cutting ties with one or more members of your family to protect your mental and emotional health.
  • Your family members imply you “fake” or “make up” injuries and illnesses.
  • You suffer from anxiety, depression, impostor syndrome, and/or betrayal trauma and complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms.
  • You experience ‘triggers’ and are emotionally activated around your family-of-origin, which typically is a result of long-standing complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms and what I have named Family Scapegoat Trauma (or FST) symptoms.
Family Scapegoat Fsa

What Is Family Scapegoating Abuse?

Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) is a term I coined during the course of my original Family Systems research on what is often a subtle and insidious systemic (family-of-origin based) phenomenon.

Where to Purchase My Book on Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA), Rejected Shamed and Blamed

Thank you, Rebecca, for writing one of the most accurate descriptions of what it is really like being a scapegoat. Your pioneering, candid research about those who suffer from scapegoating begs the need for specialized therapy that specifically addresses scapegoats who experience life-long trauma and issues related to family scapegoating. Very few in the psychology field have studied this topic in depth. Watching my mom scapegoated by her own mother who is in a position of authority including mom’s siblings shows me there is a real need for more specialized therapists like you.” – Amazon Reviewer

family scapegoat book

Purchase This Book on Amazon (U.S.) (Amazon has the Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover version) – OR you can purchase it INTERNATIONALLY at These Online Book Retailers (including Amazon).


It’s been rewarding to see the interest in my work on family scapegoating abuse (FSA) growing steadily since I published Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed nearly three years ago. There can understandably be resistance on some people’s part in regard to accepting the fact that some processes related to FSA may at times be unconscious; however, it has been my experience that this is a critical piece of information for adult survivors of FSA who grew up in a dysfunctional, versus narcissistic, family system, as it validates the reality of their having been harmed by this form of insidious ‘invisible’ abuse.

In Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, you’ll learn about:

  1. Why family scapegoating behaviors qualify as psycho-emotional abuse in highly dysfunctional and narcissistic families.
  2. Aspects of my research findings on what I eventually named ‘Family Scapegoating Abuse’ (FSA) and more recently, ‘Family Scapegoat Trauma’ (FST) to educate both adult survivors and interested Mental Health professionals on this poorly understood dysfunctional family phenomenon.
  3. How a systemic defense mechanism known as the  Family Projective Identification Process (which is similar to a shared family ‘psychosis’) can fuel family scapegoating abuse in DYSFUNCTIONAL family systems. In NARCISSISTIC family systems, scapegoating can be fueled by a narcissistic family power-holder who controls and creates the ‘scapegoat narrative’ used to demean and diminish you within your nuclear and extended family – and beyond. The pathological Family Projective Identification Process may or may not be at play in a narcissistic family system.
  4. Why family scapegoating abuse adult survivors should be clinically assessed for complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms and engage in trauma-informed treatment pathways under the guidance of a licensed, trauma-certified Mental Health professional with Family Systems training.
  5. The inter-play between family scapegoating abuse; the family projective identification process; intergenerational trauma; toxic shame; betrayal trauma; and complex trauma (C-PTSD).

Scroll down to learn more about Family Scapegoating Abuse

What Readers of Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed Are Saying…

“As a clinical social worker, I enthusiastically recommend this book!” Amazon reviewer

“Very good book on an oft-misunderstood family dynamic.” Amazon reviewer

Life-changing read! I am 64 y/o and have had an adult lifetime of therapy, counseling, spiritual guidance, support groups, and/or self-help reading to try and put to words or find definition of what I knew I felt, or why I responded the way I did, or how I could ‘see’ how I was ‘viewed’ or treated by family. This little book – with its easy read and understandability – answered so many of my questions and gave me more insight into the why’s of it all than any other resource, ever. I am more at peace with myself after reading this book – which I will re-read and, am sure, refer to often in the future – than I ever have been. I seriously feel I can now move forward with new comprehension of my family’s dynamics and sense of self. I HIGHLY recommend this book; can’t say enough good things about it. Amazon reviewer

Thank you thank you for writing this!!! As a therapist I could rave about this book for ages and have recommended it to all my clients. Having also gone through these experiences personally, I can also attest to the amount of validation this book offered that has helped me heal more so than many many therapy sessions. It was clinically sound, well researched and trustworthy in its empirical sources and framework. I just wish I could get my family to read it so they could see the damage that they’ve done! Though the book explains really well why that won’t ever be possible. An absolute must read!! – Amazon reviewer

“Now everything makes sense!” – Blog Subscriber

Your book offers healing that I thought would never be possible! ” – YouTube subscriber

“My psychologist gave me your book to read. I finally could understand what happened to me in my family and now know what to do to recover from it. Your book literally saved my life!” – YouTube Subscriber

“If you think or know you’ve suffered/are suffering from Family Scapegoat Abuse, run – don’t walk – to the add to cart button. This book is clear & concise & informative & ACCURATE…I felt like the author completely described my life. After reading this, I feel understood…and empowered to heal and finally kick this scapegoat role to the curb. I wish anyone else who has dealt with this a life free from such a painful, pervasive issue. I am certain you’ll find this book extremely helpful.” Much gratitude to the author :) Amazon reviewer

“Finally, a book written by a licensed clinician who has worked as a Family Therapist. Your insights on dysfunctional families that scapegoat are invaluable! ” – YouTube SubscriberThis is an excellent book for patients or practitioners. The author shares her extensive experience working with and studying toxic families and how to recover from the experience. This book is a must have for anyone treating those from dysfunctional families or family members.” – FSA Recovery Coaching Client

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I’ve been writing and publishing on ‘invisible’ (psycho-emotional) abuse for over a decade. Check out my archived articles here. You can also become a free subscriber to receive my latest articles over at my Substack FSA Education Community site at https://familyscapegoathealing.substack.com/

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This website provides free public education on the phenomenon known as Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA). It is not attached to the licensed Psychotherapy services provided by this website’s owner, Rebecca C. Mandeville.

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