CURRENT PSYCHOLOGY, vol.41, no.7, pp.4183-4193, 2022 (SSCI)
The relationship between childhood psychological maltreatment and depression is well documented in the literature. In recent years, there is a growing body of literature aiming to examine which factors are determinant in this strong relationship. However, there are no studies to present a comprehensive model of how insecure attachment styles, guilt, and loneliness joint play a role in this relationship. This study investigated parallel and serial mediation of insecure attachment styles, guilt, and loneliness in the relationship between childhood psychological maltreatment forms and depressive symptoms. Participants were 688 (458 females, 198 males, and 32 people who do not specify their gender) undergraduate students from six different universities in Turkey. The data were collected through Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Trait Shame and Guilt Scale, UCLA Loneliness Scale, and Three Dimensional Attachment Style Scale. The data were analyzed with PROCESS version 3.5 that works as an extension of SPSS. The results confirmed both hypotheses in the study. The study revealed that emotional abuse affected loneliness through anxious-ambivalent attachment and guilt and subsequently affected depressive symptoms. In addition, emotional neglect affected loneliness through avoidant attachment and guilt and subsequently affected depressive symptoms. Therefore, insecure attachment styles, guilt, and loneliness played an important role in determining the susceptibility of childhood psychological maltreatment to depression in adulthood. The results elucidate the literature by offering a deeper understanding of the strong relationship between childhood psychological maltreatment and depression.