The Impact of Childhood Trauma on Attachment and Self-Esteem

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The purpose of this study was to test the association with childhood emotional abuse. The purpose was to test whether the association with childhood emotional abuse was either positive towards being fearful or negative towards having a secure attachment.

Understanding Childhood Emotional Abuse and Attachment

Five hundred and fifty-four undergrad students participated in this study. Specifically, 429 women and 125 men. This study used three different measures: emotional abuse, secure/fearful attachment, and self-esteem. For the emotional abuse, the measurement was a self-report questionnaire. The questionnaire, called Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form or CTQ-SF, looked at five different subtopics of childhood abuse. The five subtopics were emotional neglect, emotional abuse, physical neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. For the secure/fearful attachment, the measurement was the Relationship Scales Questionnaire or RSQ. This measurement consisted of 17 different items reflecting from general to close relationships. For self-esteem, the measurement was the Self-Esteem Scale or SES. The SES is a self-report questionnaire looking at 16 items.

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Childhood Emotional Abuse, Attachment, and Self-Esteem

While looking at the results of this study, it was found that emotional abuse was associated with secure attachment in a positive way. However, it was found that emotional abuse was associated with fearful attachment in a more negative way. The results were in correlation with their hypothesis.

From a counseling perspective, I would say that this article applies to it because attachment and trauma play a big role in our life. This study shows how certain traumas an individual may experience in their childhood can affect them in their adolescence through adulthood. As a counselor, you may want to try and figure out the source of a client’s behavior. Personally, I think that a lot of individuals do not think about childhood experiences. Most individuals might ask, “What is wrong with that individual?” rather than “What has happened to that individual.”

This article relates to my paper by discussing different types of abuse. One of the things that I am focusing on in my paper is childhood trauma. I was not sure how generic or specific I wanted to be in my paper, but I thought that it would be interesting to try and talk about different forms of trauma. One of the things that this article talks about is different forms of trauma: emotional, physical, and sexual.


I will fit this article into my paper when I want to talk about the different types of trauma and how it can affect attachment. However, I am not sure how I would exactly take this article and incorporate it into my paper. I think that I might start talking about the different types of trauma and use this study to further get my point across. This study showed how trauma affects attachment, and I think that it will be very important to use this study.


  1. “In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness” by Peter A. Levine
  2. “Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal” by Donna Jackson
  3. “Help for Billy: A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom” by Heather T. Forbes

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The Impact of Childhood Trauma on Attachment and Self-Esteem. (2023, Aug 28). Retrieved from

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