Attachment and social support mediate associations between Polyvictimization and psychological distress in early adolescence

Gadi Zerach, Ask Elklit

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The current study assesses associations between multiple experience of traumatic events (polyvictimization), PTSD symptoms (PTSS) and psychiatric symptoms in early adolescence, and explores the mediating roles of attachment orientations and perceived social support in the associations between polyvictimization, PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. In 2001, a representative national sample of 390 Danish eighth-graders (M = 13.95, SD = .37) completed validated self-report questionnaires. Polyvictimization was related to higher PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. Importantly, polyvictimization was significantly linked to high attachment anxiety, which was linked with low perceived social support, which in turn was linked with high PTSS levels and psychiatric symptoms. Polyvictimization might have dire consequences in early adolescence. An individual's high attachment anxiety might be connected with lack of perceived social support, which should be seen as a possible psychological distress mechanism subsequent to exposure to a number of potentially traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
ISSN0020-7594
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Self Report
Psychological Distress
Social Support
Adolescence
Anxiety
Surveys and Questionnaires
Questionnaire
Self-report

Cite this

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title = "Attachment and social support mediate associations between Polyvictimization and psychological distress in early adolescence",
abstract = "The current study assesses associations between multiple experience of traumatic events (polyvictimization), PTSD symptoms (PTSS) and psychiatric symptoms in early adolescence, and explores the mediating roles of attachment orientations and perceived social support in the associations between polyvictimization, PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. In 2001, a representative national sample of 390 Danish eighth-graders (M = 13.95, SD = .37) completed validated self-report questionnaires. Polyvictimization was related to higher PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. Importantly, polyvictimization was significantly linked to high attachment anxiety, which was linked with low perceived social support, which in turn was linked with high PTSS levels and psychiatric symptoms. Polyvictimization might have dire consequences in early adolescence. An individual's high attachment anxiety might be connected with lack of perceived social support, which should be seen as a possible psychological distress mechanism subsequent to exposure to a number of potentially traumatic events.",
author = "Gadi Zerach and Ask Elklit",
note = "First published: 27 May 2019. Early View. Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue.",
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journal = "International Journal of Psychology",
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Attachment and social support mediate associations between Polyvictimization and psychological distress in early adolescence. / Zerach, Gadi; Elklit, Ask.

In: International Journal of Psychology, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attachment and social support mediate associations between Polyvictimization and psychological distress in early adolescence

AU - Zerach, Gadi

AU - Elklit, Ask

N1 - First published: 27 May 2019. Early View. Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The current study assesses associations between multiple experience of traumatic events (polyvictimization), PTSD symptoms (PTSS) and psychiatric symptoms in early adolescence, and explores the mediating roles of attachment orientations and perceived social support in the associations between polyvictimization, PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. In 2001, a representative national sample of 390 Danish eighth-graders (M = 13.95, SD = .37) completed validated self-report questionnaires. Polyvictimization was related to higher PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. Importantly, polyvictimization was significantly linked to high attachment anxiety, which was linked with low perceived social support, which in turn was linked with high PTSS levels and psychiatric symptoms. Polyvictimization might have dire consequences in early adolescence. An individual's high attachment anxiety might be connected with lack of perceived social support, which should be seen as a possible psychological distress mechanism subsequent to exposure to a number of potentially traumatic events.

AB - The current study assesses associations between multiple experience of traumatic events (polyvictimization), PTSD symptoms (PTSS) and psychiatric symptoms in early adolescence, and explores the mediating roles of attachment orientations and perceived social support in the associations between polyvictimization, PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. In 2001, a representative national sample of 390 Danish eighth-graders (M = 13.95, SD = .37) completed validated self-report questionnaires. Polyvictimization was related to higher PTSS and psychiatric symptoms. Importantly, polyvictimization was significantly linked to high attachment anxiety, which was linked with low perceived social support, which in turn was linked with high PTSS levels and psychiatric symptoms. Polyvictimization might have dire consequences in early adolescence. An individual's high attachment anxiety might be connected with lack of perceived social support, which should be seen as a possible psychological distress mechanism subsequent to exposure to a number of potentially traumatic events.

U2 - 10.1002/ijop.12590

DO - 10.1002/ijop.12590

M3 - Journal article

JO - International Journal of Psychology

JF - International Journal of Psychology

SN - 0020-7594

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