Personality characteristics of adult survivors of childhood trauma



Lenore Terr (1991) proposed a framework for childhood trauma that distinguishes between single-incident trauma (Type I) and repeated or prolonged trauma (Type II). Terr's framework and data collected from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) are used to examine differences in personality between adult survivors of childhood Type I trauma, childhood Type II trauma, and a control group of adults not traumatized as children. Groups were compared on five personality scales. Results indicate that individuals in the trauma categories scored higher in neuroticism and openness to new experiences than individuals in the control group. The Type I group was lower than the control group on interpersonal dependency, whereas the Type II group scored higher than the control group on this measure.