Title

Childhood trauma in obsessive compulsive disorder: The roles of alexithymia and attachment

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Publication Date

12-1-2011

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the interrelationships between childhood trauma, attachment, alexithymia, and the severity of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in a cohort of participants with OCD. Rationale: There is a growing body of research linking traumatic experiences in childhood with the development of OCD. The mechanisms involved in this association are not yet clear. Methods: The sample was comprised of 82 people with OCD and 92 comparison participants. A cross-sectional design was used, utilizing internet-mediated administration of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire - revised (CTQ-R); the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale - Self-Report (Y-BOCS-SR); the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR); and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Partial least squares (PLS) analysis was used to determine significant paths between the constructs. Results: Results of PLS analysis supported all of the hypotheses made: there was a significant positive correlation between childhood trauma and attachment avoidance, which in turn was significantly positively associated with alexithymia. Alexithymia was significantly associated with the severity of OCD symptoms and the number of OCD symptoms. Mediational analysis showed that alexithymia significantly carried an influence from attachment avoidance to the severity of obsessions and the number of obsession symptoms. Conclusions: There is a relationship between childhood trauma and OCD, however this relationship is not direct in nature but is influenced by peoples' past experiences with significant others and associated difficulties in emotional processing. © 2011 The British Psychological Society.

ISSN

1476-0835

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Volume

84

Issue

4

First Page

367

Last Page

388

Disciplines

Psychology

Keywords

adult; article; case control study; child; child abuse; cross-sectional study; emotional disorder; female; human; human relation; infant; Internet; life event; male; object relation; obsessive compulsive disorder; posttraumatic stress disorder; psychological aspect; psychological model; regression analysis; self concept; self report; severity of illness index; Adult; Adult Survivors of Child Abuse; Affective Symptoms; Case-Control Studies; Child; Child Abuse; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Infant; Internet; Interpersonal Relations; Least-Squares Analysis; Life Change Events; Male; Models, Psychological; Object Attachment; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Self Concept; Self Report; Severity of Illness Index; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic

Scopus ID

81255161262

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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