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How Adverse Childhood Experiences Impact Adult Attachment

Longitudinal research article that found how insecure attachments follow children into adulthood. And how as adults there can be corrective emotional experiences that mediate attachment anxiety, creating a capacity to develop secure attachments as an adult. Relationships heal!

“There is converging evidence from longitudinal investigations into the (a) correlates of change in attachment security from infancy to young adulthood (Booth-LaForce, et al., 2014; Weinfield et al., 2004), (b) factors that disrupt the intergenerational transmission of abuse (Egeland, Jacobvitz, & Sroufe, 1988; Merrick, Lee, & Leeb, 2013), and (c) role of romantic relationships in particular as turning points in individual develop- ment (Salvatore, Haydon, Simpson, & Collins, 2013) that suggests that relationships with alternative caregivers during childhood or adolescence or with romantic partners during adulthood can provide emotionally corrective opportunities for individuals with histories of childhood abuse and neglect” (Labella, et al., 2017, p. 361).


Raby, K., Labella, M., Martin, J., Carlson, E., & Roisman, G. (2017). Childhood abuse and neglect and insecure attachment states of mind in adulthood: Prospective, longitudinal evidence from a high-risk sample. Development and Psychopathology,29(2), 347-363. doi:10.1017/S0954579417000037