Adolescent parental attachment and intimate relationship in adulthood: An investigation of contextual factors and long-term outcomes of child sexual abuse

Fei Shen, Kristy Soloski, Yanhong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study aimed to examine how parental attachment at adolescence was related to intimate relational outcomes among female adults, including relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and relationship status. In addition, we investigated the moderation role of child sexual abuse (CSA) experience on the relation between perceived parental attachment (i.e., maternal and paternal) and the relational outcomes, using Wave I and Wave IV from the restricted-use dataset of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; Harris et al., 2009). The sample included 1201 female CSA survivors and 6094 female counterparts without a history of CSA. Using multiple-group Structure Equation Modeling (SEM), we found that CSA was a nonsignificant moderator of the relationship between perceived parental attachment during adolescence and adult intimate relational outcomes. Furthermore, we found that there was a significant difference in reported parental attachment, with those who were not abused reporting a higher level of both maternal and paternal attachment. We also found that maternal and paternal attachment reported in adolescence (assessed in Wave I) were significantly related to adult relational outcomes (measured in Wave IV). Clinical implications for systematic treatment and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105869
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume122
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Adult intimate relationship
  • Attachment
  • Child sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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