Friday, September 11, 2015

The Relationship of Childhood Maltreatment and Adult Attachment Style to Adjustment to Chronic Pain in Adults Experiencing Chronic Pain

Leslie Blake, School of Psychology

This study investigated the relationship of childhood maltreatment, adult attachment style, and indicators of adjustment (pain catastrophizing, pain disability, and resiliency) to chronic pain in adults experiencing chronic pain. The researcher recruited 100 participants from two chronic pain rehabilitation clinics and a chronic pain online support group. Participants completed the Childhood Maltreatment Scales for Adults (CCMS-A; Higgins & McCabe, 2001), the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale-Short Form (ECR-S; Wei, Russell, Mallinckrodt, & Vogel, 2007), the Relationships Questionnaire (RQ; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991), the Pain Disability Index (PDI; Chibnall & Tait, 1994), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS; Sullivan, Bishop, & Pivik, 1995), and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC; Connor & Davidson, 2003). Initial findings using parametric statistical methods were compromised due to distributional characteristics (truncation and skew) of the data. Consequently, the researcher conducted alternative non-parametric PLS-SEM path analyses. The results of path analyses revealed significant associations between childhood maltreatment severity and insecure adult attachment style, pain catastrophizing, and pain disability. Adult attachment style partially mediated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and pain adjustment processes. Resiliency emerged as the pain adjustment variable most strongly predicted by childhood maltreatment severity and adult attachment style.

KEY WORDS: childhood maltreatment, childhood abuse and neglect, chronic pain, adult attachment style, pain adjustment, resilience, pain catastrophizing, pain disability

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