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Keywords:

  • interpersonal trauma;
  • psychopathology;
  • emotion;
  • attachment;
  • cognition

Objective

To demonstrate how intrapersonal functioning variables related to attachment, cognition, and emotion are implicated in mental health outcomes for two samples of interpersonal trauma survivors, including undergraduates and women from the community.

Method

Two samples of survivors of interpersonal trauma were included: undergraduates (n = 290, 60% female) and intimate partner violence survivors from the community (n = 114). Participants completed self-report measures that assessed psychopathology, emotion dysregulation, attachment processes, and cognitions about the world, self, and others.

Results

Emotion dysregulation was strongly linked to symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and somatization in both samples. Cognitions also accounted for unique variance in predicting symptoms of depression and somatization in both samples.

Conclusions

Results suggest that disruption in the ability to regulate emotions is the most consistent predictor of mental health in survivors of interpersonal trauma, followed by cognitions regarding the world, self, and others. Treatment implications are discussed.