Journal article

Separation from parents during childhood trauma predicts adult attachment security and post-traumatic stress disorder

RA Bryant, M Creamer, M O'Donnell, D Forbes, KL Felmingham, D Silove, G Malhi, M van Hoof, AC McFarlane, A Nickerson

PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2017

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prolonged separation from parental support is a risk factor for psychopathology. This study assessed the impact of brief separation from parents during childhood trauma on adult attachment tendencies and post-traumatic stress. METHOD: Children (n = 806) exposed to a major Australian bushfire disaster in 1983 and matched controls (n = 725) were assessed in the aftermath of the fires (mean age 7-8 years) via parent reports of trauma exposure and separation from parents during the fires. Participants (n = 500) were subsequently assessed 28 years after initial assessment on the Experiences in Close Relationships scale to assess attachment security, and post-traumatic stress disorder ..

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