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J Interpers Violence. 2012 Jul;27(10):2039-61. doi: 10.1177/0886260511431440. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Self-worth as a mediator between attachment and posttraumatic stress in interpersonal trauma.

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Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA.


It is well documented that most trauma survivors recover from adversity and only a number of them go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, survivors of interpersonal trauma (IPT) appear to be at heightened risk for developing PTSD in comparison to survivors of noninterpersonal trauma (NIPT). Despite a robust association between IPT exposure and attachment disruptions, there is a dearth of research examining the role of attachment-related processes implicated in predicting PTSD. Using a sample of college undergraduates exposed to IPT and NIPT, this study explores the mediating effect of self-worth in the relationship between attachment and PTSD. It is hypothesized that insecure attachment will be related to posttraumatic symptomatology via a reduced sense of self-worth in IPT survivors but not in NIPT survivors. Mediation analyses provide support for this hypothesis, suggesting the importance of considering negative cognitions about the self in therapeutic interventions, particularly those offered to IPT survivors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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