Childrens' and adults' hands, one in the other
Childrens' and adults' hands, one in the other

Child abuse, neglect or other parental violence can impact caretaker-child attachment systems, resulting in chronic, negative expectations and perceptions of other people (i.e., negative relational schema), leading to safety, trust, esteem, intimacy, and control issues. Survivors of early relational trauma may see themselves as unlovable, stigmatized, different from others, and marked or contaminated by their trauma, and view others as unavailable, not trustable, or unavailable in time of needs. These negative models of self and others, often thought to reflect the effects of insecure attachment, often persist onto the long-term, producing lasting relational problems.

For more information:

Godbout, N., Sabourin, S., & Lussier, Y. (2007). La relation entre l’abus sexuel subi durant l’enfance et la satisfaction conjugale chez l’homme. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Sciences, 39, 6-59.

Godbout, N., Sabourin, S., & Lussier, Y. (2006). Early abuse experiences and subsequent gender differences in couple adjustment. Violence and Victims, 21(6), 747-764.

Godbout, N., Dutton, D., Lussier, Y., & Sabourin, S. (2009). Early experiences of violence as predictors of intimate partner violence and marital adjustment, using attachment theory as a conceptual framework. Personal Relationships, 16, 365-384.

Godbout, N., Lussier, Y., & Sabourin, S. (2014). Childhood sexual abuse and subsequent psychological and interpersonal distress: The role of parental support. Child Abuse and Neglect, 38, 317-325.

Godbout, N., Runtz, M., MacIntosch, H., & Briere, J. (2013). Childhood trauma and couple relationships. Integrating Science and Practice, 3(2), 14-17.