Childhood trauma: pathways to adult life satisfaction

The aim of this study was to obtain better insight into the associations between childhood maltreatment and life satisfaction in adulthood by examining the mediating roles of depression and anxiety. Data from 898 adults (aged 34-84 years) who took part in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) II Project 4, the Biomarker Project were used in the analysis. The measures included The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein & Fink, 1998), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Inventory (Lewinsohn, Seeley, Roberts, & Allen, 1997), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Pavot & Diener, 2008). Results of the mediation model indicated that the associations between childhood neglect and life satisfaction were partially mediated through depression and anxiety. However, the associations between childhood abuse and life satisfaction were not. These results suggest that recollections of childhood neglect may influence psychological health and life satisfaction in adulthood and is worthy of further study.