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

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. Thus, faced with situations that activate their attachment patterns, survivors tend to demonstrate attachment behavior marked by avoidance of closeness and/or marked by abandonment insecurities. In return, these attachment insecurities would explain the exacerbation of the consequences of trauma, and the appearance of symptoms of psychological, and marital distress. However, interpersonal protective factors, such as parental support when disclosing a sexual assault, can significantly influence the trajectory of marital consequences.

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.