The Moderating Effect of Attachment Styles on the Relationships between Maltreatment Experiences and Internalizing and Externalizing Problems Among Adolescents: Implications for Custody Issues

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Abstract

Multiple studies have documented the relationship between child maltreatment and internalizing and externalizing problems. Evidence suggests that the link between child maltreatment and these psychopathological outcomes may be moderated by various factors. Attachment styles may be one such moderating factor in this relationship. This study seeks to explore whether different attachment style profiles are associated with different forms of maltreatment as well as internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and whether attachment styles may moderate the link between different forms of maltreatment and internalizing and externalizing problems. For this purpose, 387 students from Italian public high schools were recruited. We used the Italian version of the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) to assess different dimensions of attachment, the Italian version of the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q) to assess experiences of maltreatment, and the Italian version of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) to assess internalizing and externalizing problems. Results showed that different types of attachment style profiles were specifically associated with maltreatment variables and internalizing/externalizing problems as well as attachment style profiles moderated the relationships between maltreatment and internalizing problems. The findings are discussed in light of the theoretical framework and limitations, and implications for practice and child custody are presented.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine37
RivistaJOURNAL OF FAMILY TRAUMA, CHILD CUSTODY & CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

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