Title

Mindfulness and Attachment as Concurrent Mediators Linking Childhood Maltreatment to Depressive, Anxious, and Dissociative Symptoms

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-25-2021

School

Child and Family Studies

Abstract

Childhood maltreatment has been consistently associated with adult symptoms of depression, anxiety, and dissociation, and attachment has been proposed as one mediator. Attachment, however, tends to only partially mediate the association, and mindfulness may be another explanatory pathway. The current study examined mindfulness and attachment in a multiple mediator model linking maltreatment to adult symptoms of depression, anxiety, and dissociation. A sample of 232 adults were recruited from two universities and an online sample who completed an online survey. Using structural equation modeling, childhood maltreatment was indirectly associated to symptoms of depression (β = .104; 95% CI [.015,.193]), anxiety (β = .090; 95% CI [.014,.166]), and dissociation (β = .088; 95% CI [.006,.170]) through mindfulness. Additionally, childhood maltreatment was associated with symptoms of depression (β = .062; 95% CI [.007,.118]), anxiety (β = .074; 95% CI [.009,.139]), and dissociation (β = .069; 95% CI [.017,.121]) through attachment avoidance. No significant indirect effects were found through attachment anxiety. These findings indicate that both mindfulness and attachment may be explanatory pathways linking childhood maltreatment. Inclusion of both attachment and mindfulness provides a more robust theoretical understanding of how maltreatment is associated with adult mental health.

Publication Title

Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

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