Psychology Publications

Title

Childhood Maltreatment, Complex Trauma Symptoms, and Unresolved Attachment in an At-risk Sample of Adolescent Mothers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2007

Journal

Attachment & Human Development

Volume

9

Issue

2

First Page

139

Last Page

161

Abstract

Associations between unresolved attachment, abuse history, and a wide range of trauma-related symptomatology were examined in an at-risk sample (N = 62). Fifty percent reported severe childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. An independent trauma interview elicited more reports of childhood sexual abuse than the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI); conversely, the AAI elicited more reports of physical abuse. Childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse, and general maltreatment were associated with unresolved status. Furthermore, sexual abuse history and general maltreatment predicted unresolved loss, suggesting that they adversely affected the integration of other emotional and/or traumatic experiences. Women classified as Unresolved reported higher levels of dissociation, confusion regarding self-identity, and relationship problems. Findings complement and extend empirical support for the theorized association between dissociative processes and unresolved attachment.

Notes

Published in: Attachment & Human Development, Volume 9, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 139 - 161. doi: 10.1080/14616730701349721