Childhood Maltreatment and Behavior Problems: Exploring the Mediating Role of Parental Attachment

  • Zaryab Fatima
  • Rayna Sadia Rawalpindi Women University
  • Saira Khan
  • Nimra Naeem
Keywords: Childhood maltreatment, childhood trauma, behavioral problems, parental attachment, secure attachment


Background. Childhood maltreatment occurred to be the significant risk factor for development of number of adverse mental and many behavioural problems in adolescents. Seemingly, strong parental attachment provides a positive basis to overcome the harms of childhood maltreatment. The present study aimed to examine the mediating role of parental attachment between childhood maltreatment and behaviour problems.

Method. The study utilized the correlational research design and the data was collected through purposive and convenient sampling from adolescents (N = 200) with the age range of 12-18 (M = 14.70, SD = 1.74) years.

Results. Significant positive association between childhood maltreatment and behaviour problems was observed. Non-significant association was found between the two subscales of parental attachment with all variables of the study except for the negative association of goal corrected partnership with childhood maltreatment and behaviour problems. Goal corrected partnership further mediated the association between childhood maltreatment and behaviour problems. The present study yielded the significance of goal corrected partnership (indicating child empathy with parents) in avoiding the adverse childhood experiences.

Conclusion. The findings of the present research could be beneficial both for theory building as well as for intervention-based programs. These findings could further be utilized to spread awareness among young adolescents to modify and minimize behaviour problems.


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