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Wright, Stephen

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The purpose of the present study was to examine the interrelationships among cumulative interpersonal trauma (IPT), the dimensions of adult attachment anxiety and avoidance, self-compassion, and shame based on an integrative theoretical framework in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 310). The results of this structural equation modeling analysis with bootstrapping supported the primary model which showed that higher degrees of exposure to IPT in childhood, adolescence, and the first two years of emerging adulthood directly related to increased levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance as well as decreased levels of self-compassion. The findings further demonstrated that higher levels of attachment anxiety directly related to increased shame, and higher levels of attachment avoidance and self-compassion directly related to decreased shame. Together, these constructs explained over half of the total variance in self-reported shame in the present sample. The results of this study reinforced the powerful potential of considering both intra- and interpersonal postures of relating to inform strengths-based, resiliency-focused, and preventative interventions with young adult survivors of interpersonal trauma who experience shame. Implications for professionals working with these emerging adults are discussed.


189 pages

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