Masters Thesis

An investigation of childhood trauma, interpersonal functioning, and coping

This study investigated childhood trauma, interpersonal functioning, and coping styles in young adults. The focus of this study was to explore the difficulties resulting from childhood trauma in young adulthood, specifically. Data were collected from 295 participants in the United States who reported experiencing trauma as a child and who were between the ages of 18 and 35. Data were collected through CSU Stanislaus participant pool and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. The study utilized the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire Short Form (CTQ-SF), the Interpersonal Adjectives Scale Revised-Big Five Version (IASR-B5), and the Brief-Cope (B-COPE). Out of the 295 participants, 87.4% reported having experienced trauma as a child. It was found that the most frequently reported form of childhood trauma was physical neglect (M = 12.97, SD = 2.88). It was found that physical and emotional abuse and emotional neglect were significantly correlated with satisfaction with interpersonal functioning while sexual abuse and physical neglect were not. There was no significant difference between genders for perceived low satisfaction with interpersonal functioning. Lastly, there was no significance among adaptive coping and scores on perceived assurance and dominance. Interpersonal factors play a large role in how an individual perceives themselves in the world. This study provides valuable information for mental health professionals working with individuals who have experienced trauma.