Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Desiree Crevecoeur-MacPhail


Repeated and complex childhood trauma can have devastating effects on individuals and their future relationships. Attachment styles are developed in the early years of an individual's life, and adverse experiences during these early years can negatively affect the attachment style that an individual develops. Various traumatic experiences during childhood, such as abuse/neglect, death/separation of parent, or witnessing domestic violence, may lead individuals to develop insecure attachment styles in their future romantic relationships. In many instances, experiencing childhood trauma can result in the development of aninsecure attachment style of anxious, avoidant, or disorganized. This study aimed to examine the impact of repeated childhood trauma on the attachment style of adults in their romantic relationships, their relationship satisfaction as well as their likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence. To investigate this, participants (N= 80) completed a series of surveys based on their childhood experiences and current dynamics within their romantic relationships. The results of this study only found statistical significance to support one of the hypotheses but offer various implications that future researchers can expand on. The implications of this study could provide therapists with insights into the correlation between childhood trauma and attachment style in adulthood. By understanding the devastating effects of childhood trauma on attachment style in adult romantic relationships, therapists can develop more effective strategies to work with patients through their childhood trauma, possibly alleviating the development of insecure attachments within adult romantic relationships.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

Included in

Psychology Commons