Adult Separation Anxiety and Childhood Traumas: The Mediating Role of Cognitive Distortions

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Springer Heidelberg

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While there are many studies on the relationship between anxiety disorders and childhood traumas in the literature, there are limited studies on the relationship between separation anxiety disorders and traumatic experiences in early life. It is widely known that trauma and negative cognitive processes are important factors in the etiology and prognosis of psychiatric disorders. In this study, it was aimed to determine the relationship between adult separation anxiety levels and childhood traumas and cognitive distortions, and to examine the mediating role of cognitive distortions in the relationship between childhood traumas and separation anxiety. A total of 366 students attending a private university were included in the study. The scales, which were converted into online questionnaires by the researchers, were sent to the students via e-mail, and were administered online. The participants were evaluated using Adult Separation Anxiety Questionnaire, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and Cognitive Distortions Scale. The results of the study indicated that there was a positive and significant relationship between adult separation anxiety levels and childhood sexual abuse while there was no statistically significant correlation between adult separation anxiety levels and physical and emotional abuse, or physical and emotional neglect. A positive and significant relationship was found between separation anxiety levels and the sub-dimensions of cognitive distortions' self-image, self-blame, helplessness, hopelessness, and preoccupation with danger. In addition, it was determined that the helplessness and preoccupation with danger sub-dimensions of cognitive distortions had a full mediator effect on the relationship between sexual abuse and separation anxiety. Our results show that there is a positive relationship between separation anxiety disorder and childhood sexual abuse, and cognitive distortions play a mediating role between both variables.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Separation anxiety, Childhood traumas, Cognitive distortions


Journal Of Child & Adolescent Trauma

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