Adult Attachment Patterns, Mental Representation of Self, and Faith: Mediators of Childhood Trauma and Affect-Behavior Regulations in Adulthood

Description:

The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse and neglect by attachment figures in childhood on negative mental representations of self, insecure attachment patterns in close relationship, and poor religious faith; and (c) most importantly, deepening an understanding of how their negative images of self, anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, and/or poor religious faith and practices, rather than parental abuse and neglect in childhood itself, directly predict their presenting symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse problems. In doing so, it is crucial for clinicians to provide clients with secure and comforting therapeutic atmosphere, focus on building trusting working relationship with clients, and be aware of how clients' transference and clinicians' own counter-transference interact with each other and influence therapeutic process and effectiveness. Several important limitations of the present study and implications for future studies were discussed.

Creator(s): Han, GiBaeg
Creation Date: December 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: December 2010
Description:

The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse and neglect by attachment figures in childhood on negative mental representations of self, insecure attachment patterns in close relationship, and poor religious faith; and (c) most importantly, deepening an understanding of how their negative images of self, anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, and/or poor religious faith and practices, rather than parental abuse and neglect in childhood itself, directly predict their presenting symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse problems. In doing so, it is crucial for clinicians to provide clients with secure and comforting therapeutic atmosphere, focus on building trusting working relationship with clients, and be aware of how clients' transference and clinicians' own counter-transference interact with each other and influence therapeutic process and effectiveness. Several important limitations of the present study and implications for future studies were discussed.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Physical Description:

viii, 168 p. : ill.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): attachment | regulation | mediator | trauma
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 723135029 |
  • UNTCAT: b3992806 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc33158
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Han, GiBaeg
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.