Childhood abuse and internalizing symptoms: Exploring mediating & moderating role of attachment, competency, and self-regulation

Elizabeth R. Watters, Armeda S. Wojciak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Childhood abuse is a prevalent problem that can lead to internalized symptoms. The ARC framework (attachment, regulation, and competency) is a lens that can be used to reduce the negative effects of abuse. The primary aims of this study included examining the concordance between adolescent and caregiver reports on ARC variables and internalizing behaviors as well as evaluating both reports of ARC concepts as both a mediator and moderator on internalizing behaviors. Data from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect were used. The analytic sample (N = 1067) included adolescents who responded to the self-report measures relating to experiences of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and/or psychological abuse and ARC variables around age 12 (M = 12.40, SD = 1.22) and internalizing symptoms around age 16 (M = 16.34, SD = 0.43). The sample was predominantly African American/Black (48.2%) and female (50.2%). SPSS was used to run all analyses. Results indicated low concordance between adolescent and caregiver reports of attachment, behavioral self-regulation, social competency, and internalizing symptoms. There were significant interactions between abuse and adolescent reports of attachment and social competency. Adolescent reports of behavioral regulation significantly mediated the relationship between abuse and internalizing symptoms. Caregiver reports of attachment and behavioral regulation significantly mediated the relationship between abuse and internalizing symptoms. This study provides insight into the concordance between caregiver and adolescent reports and offers an important first glance at how the concepts in the ARC framework are associated with internalizing symptoms for adolescents who have experienced abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105305
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume117
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • Attachment
  • Competency
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Resilience
  • Self-regulation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Childhood abuse and internalizing symptoms: Exploring mediating & moderating role of attachment, competency, and self-regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this