Childhood traumatic experiences are known to have strong and durable effects on physical, mental and reproductive health. One of the most studied consequences of childhood trauma is the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study aims to investigate in a community sample of Italian female students: (1) the prevalence of PTSD; (2) the association between reported childhood traumatic experiences and the presence of PTSD in adulthood and the role played by the romantic attachment (anxiety, avoidance) on the relationship between childhood traumatic experiences and PTSD symptoms. Three hundred and twenty-seven female Italian students (mean age = 23.09 years; SD = 2.98) of the University of Padova participated in the study. Participants have been tested on childhood traumatic experiences (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form, CTQ-SF); romantic attachment (Experience in Close Relationship-Revised, ECR-R) and post-traumatic stress disorder (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5, PCL-5). Results show that PTSD symptoms are significantly predicted by the experiences of emotional abuse and neglect. Moreover, anxiety and avoidance play a significant role in the relationship between the emotional forms of traumatic experiences and the current presence of PTSD symptoms. Clinical implications for the treatment of PTSD patients with history of interpersonal trauma are discussed.
Part of the book: A Multidimensional Approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder