The maternal influence: child-caregiver interactions as a mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of trauma

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Samantha J. Klaver (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: Child maltreatment (CM) is a substantial public health concern and its occurrence often brings a host of negative outcomes for the individuals involved and the larger community as a whole. Adults who experienced CM in their youth often endure a wide variety of persistent physical and psychological dysfunction (Afifi, et al., 2016; Jaffee, 2017). In addition, growing evidence suggests the negative consequences of exposure to CM may not only persist over the exposed individual’s life span, but also may be transmitted across generations (Schwerdtfeger & Goff, 2007), though the specific mechanisms underlying this intergenerational transmission of trauma are poorly understood. The current study sought to examine potential maternal caregiver-child interactions and characteristics (e.g., emotion regulation and attachment) which may present as pathways for the transmission of trauma utilizing path analysis. Though the model demonstrated unsatisfactory fit, ?²= 188.26 (df = 13, P = .000), RMSEA = 0.29, NFI = 0.46, NNFI = 0.93, CFI = 0.46, the current study found robust correlations between maternal caregiver’s negative emotion regulation capabilities and insecure attachment and those of their children. The current study adds to the extant literature in providing additional support for programming aimed at improving the mother-child relationship, both within the context of CM and within families without such experiences.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
attachment, child maltreatment, emotion regulation, intergenerational trauma transmission, trauma symptoms
Mother and child
Women caregivers
Adult child abuse victims
Child abuse -- Psychological aspects
Intergenerational relations
Psychic trauma -- Transmission

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