Study Reveals the Lasting Effects Childhood Trauma Has on Adult Relationships

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on ScienceAlert.

An ongoing study among more than 2,000 adults in the Netherlands has found childhood maltreatment is associated with lower quality relationships later in life.

Past research has also found childhood abuse or neglect can lead to insecure attachment patterns in adulthood, but the current study goes further and suggests these issues arise primarily from severe depression associated with that childhood trauma.

The large cohort has been tracked for nearly a decade already.

Similar to previous findings, the authors found respondents with a history of maltreatment also had more severe depression and anxiety.

These individuals reported lower quality relationships and higher levels of insecure attachment, including anxious attachment – exemplified by extreme levels of intimacy with low levels of autonomy – and avoidant attachment – exemplified by high levels of autonomy and discomfort with intimacy.

The findings largely align with research showing childhood abuse or neglect can have lingering effects on a person’s health and wellbeing later in life.

The study was published in Child Abuse & Neglect.

Source: ScienceAlert

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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