Adult Attachment as a Mediator of Childhood Trauma on Social Network Structure
Previous research has established that adverse experiences in childhood are far-reaching. Attachment persists into adulthood, impacted by internal structures that make sense of relational experience. Dunbar (1993) has estimated that humans maintain approximately 150 personal relationships, structured in concentric rings of decreasing intimacy, within the active social network. However, no literature exists examining the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), adult attachment dynamics, and social networks. Relational ministry workers (N = 84) completed a self-report questionnaire of personal contacts, ACEs, and context-specific adult attachment style. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that after controlling for Extraversion, having experienced four or more ACEs, and Global Anxiety attachment were significant predictors of the size of the innermost social networking. Therefore, interpersonal internal factors, such as attachment style, and experiential external factors, such as life experiences, can impact the structure and size of the social network.
Eriksson, Cynthia B.
Social networks, Social interaction, Attachment behavior, Psychic trauma
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