The Impact of Childhood Trauma on the Attachment Styles of Adults


Authors : Sanjana Pillai

Volume/Issue : Volume 7 - 2022, Issue 7 - July

Google Scholar : https://bit.ly/3IIfn9N

Scribd : https://bit.ly/3J6SFtT

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6866969

Abstract : The childhood of an individual is vital in determining who they will grow up to be in the future. A safe, healthy, communicative family is bound to raise a well-functioning emotionally mature adult. Childhood trauma has been defined by the National Institute Of Mental Health (USA) as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects. More than two-thirds of children in community samples report having experienced a traumatic incident by the age of 16. A significant research in the year 2016, determined the relationship between childhood trauma and attachment styles. In addition to this, the results of the research showed a negative, significant relationship between childhood abuse and a secure attachment style. Furthermore, the results focused on predicting the attachment styles of an individual having undergone a traumatic event. The results indicated that participants displaying relatively high levels of childhood trauma tend to report insecure types of attachment (fearful, preoccupied, and dismissing attachment styles) (Erozkan, 2016). The current study aims to understand the impact of childhood trauma and attachment styles among adults. Two tools were administered for this – the Adult Attachment Scale by Collins and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire by P. Bernstein. The result indicated a significant correlation between the two variables as well as having childhood trauma negatively predict attachment styles.

The childhood of an individual is vital in determining who they will grow up to be in the future. A safe, healthy, communicative family is bound to raise a well-functioning emotionally mature adult. Childhood trauma has been defined by the National Institute Of Mental Health (USA) as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects. More than two-thirds of children in community samples report having experienced a traumatic incident by the age of 16. A significant research in the year 2016, determined the relationship between childhood trauma and attachment styles. In addition to this, the results of the research showed a negative, significant relationship between childhood abuse and a secure attachment style. Furthermore, the results focused on predicting the attachment styles of an individual having undergone a traumatic event. The results indicated that participants displaying relatively high levels of childhood trauma tend to report insecure types of attachment (fearful, preoccupied, and dismissing attachment styles) (Erozkan, 2016). The current study aims to understand the impact of childhood trauma and attachment styles among adults. Two tools were administered for this – the Adult Attachment Scale by Collins and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire by P. Bernstein. The result indicated a significant correlation between the two variables as well as having childhood trauma negatively predict attachment styles.

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