Trait self-acceptance mediates parental childhood abuse predicting depression and anxiety symptoms in adulthood

Drishti E. Sanghvi, Nur Hani Zainal, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Biopsychosocial models posit that experiencing parental childhood abuse increases vulnerability to psychopathology in adulthood. There are a lack of studies investigating mediators of the parental childhood abuse–adulthood psychopathology relation. The current study investigated if trait self-acceptance mediated the parental childhood abuse–adulthood major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder (PD) severity relations. Methods: Participants (n = 3294) partook in the 18-year Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study at three time-points. We conducted structural equation modeling analyses to test how maternal and paternal childhood abuse at Time 1 would independently positively predict MDD, GAD, and PD severity at Time 3, and if self-acceptance at Time 2 mediated those relations while controlling for adulthood MDD, GAD, and PD severity at Time 1. Results: Self-acceptance notably mediated the parental childhood abuse-adulthood MDD, GAD, and PD relations. Overall, higher paternal and maternal childhood abuse was associated with lower self-acceptance. Reduced self-acceptance predicted heightened adulthood MDD, GAD, and PD. Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of understanding the parental childhood abuse–adulthood psychopathology relation and the possible mechanisms of its long-term impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102673
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume94
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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