A tangled start: The link between childhood maltreatment, psychopathology, and relationships in adulthood
Child Abuse & Neglect
Mona K.Shahab, Josja A. de Ridder, Philip Spinhoven, Brenda W.J.H.Penninx, Dennis O.Mook-Kanamori, Bernet M. Elzinga
Background: Adults with a history of childhood maltreatment are more likely to experience distrust, feel distant from others, and develop an insecure attachment style which may also affect relationship quality. Furthermore, childhood maltreatment has been linked to several mental health problems; including, depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependance severity, that are also known to relationship quality.
Results: The path model showed an acceptable fit, RMSEA = 0.05, and suggested full mediation of the association of childhood maltreatment with quality of intimate relationships by depression severity and a) anxious attachment (β = −4.0 ∗ 10−2; 95% CI = −5.5 ∗ 10−2, −2.7 ∗ 10−2) and b) avoidant attachment (β = −7.2 ∗ 10−2; 95% CI = −9.6 ∗ 10−2, −4.9 ∗ 10−2). Anxiety and alcohol dependence severity were not significant mediators. Conclusions: Childhood maltreatment is associated with a lower quality of intimate relationships, which is fully mediated by depression severity and insecure attachment styles.