Childhood maltreatment is an experience that is likely to have lasting effects on individuals' emotional and behavioral functioning throughout their lifetimes. In particular, childhood maltreatment often is implicated in the etiology of numerous unfavorable psychological outcomes. Other research also suggested that there is a relationship between child maltreatment and the style of attachment that individuals exhibit post-abuse. Lastly, an association exists between individuals' attachment styles and their emotional and behavioral functioning. Despite substantial documentation of these relationships, few studies examine childhood maltreatment, attachment, and emotional and behavioral functioning collectively. As a result, this study examined the relationships among childhood maltreatment, attachment relationships, and later emotional and behavioral functioning, including eating behaviors. In addition, this study examined the role that attachment serves in the relationship between child maltreatment and later functioning. One hundred participants completed five questionnaires assessing experiences of childhood maltreatment, attachment relationships, emotional and behavioral functioning, and eating behaviors. Results of this study indicated that those individuals who report childhood maltreatment are more likely to report unfavorable emotional and behavioral functioning, whereas those who report childhood maltreatment but who exhibit a secure attachment style to either a parent or a peer are less likely to exhibit unfavorable emotional and behavioral functioning. Further, both the experience of childhood maltreatment and attachment were significant predictors of individuals' emotional and behavioral functioning. Finally, attachment contributed unique significant variance to the relationship between childhood maltreatment and emotional and behavioral functioning, particularly participants' internalizing and total problems.; Such findings suggested that secure attachment may serve as a protective factor against problematic emotional and behavioral symptoms as children reach emerging adulthood, even when individuals have had childhood maltreatment experiences earlier in their lives. The importance of studying the relationships among these variables is discussed.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Lowell, Amanda F., "The role of attachment in the relationship between child maltreatment and later emotional and behavioral functioning" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1152.