An overrepresentation of insecure attachment styles is observes among survivors of childhood interpersonal trauma. Our model (Godbout et al., 2006, 2007, 2009) stipulates that interpersonal trauma experiences in childhood are likely to lead to the development of representations of attachment imbued with insecurities which, in turn, are linked to an increase in psychological distress, and to a decrease in marital satisfaction.


The experience of childhood interpersonal trauma can interrupt normal development, and impair the usual acquisition of self-abilities, which in turn disrupt psychological, and relational health. The self-capacities are grouped according to a tripartite typology : identity development, interpersonal relationships, and emotional regulation.


Faced with interpersonal trauma, the individual typically finds himself in a state of emergency, with an activation of the biological systems associated with survival, great anxiety, and a shrinking of his capacity for attentive presence to his inner and outer worlds, for the benefit of survival mechanisms. The mnemonic traces of trauma, imprinted with negative emotions, cognitions, and sensations, can then be reactivated or relived as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, painful feelings, and other post-traumatic consequences.