Psychological security in at-risk youth: Attachment, emotion regulation, and PTSD symptom severity

S. Hobbs, D. Bederian-Gardner, C. M. Ogle, G. S. Goodman, P Hastings, I. M. Cordon, S. Bakanosky, M Lawler, Yoojin Chae, R Narr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be influenced by attachment insecurities and dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies in children at risk for mental health difficulties, such as children in foster care or in low socioeconomic status (SES) homes. Yet relatively little research exists on attachment and emotion regulation in at-risk adolescents, including in youth with foster care experience. We examined attachment dimensions (attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety) and emotion regulation strategies (expressive emotion suppression and cognitive reappraisal) as predictors of PTSD symptom severity in a sample of 17-year-olds in foster care (n = 146) compared to a low SES sample of 17-year-olds with no foster care experience (n = 83). Greater<br>attachment avoidance and greater attachment anxiety were associated with higher PTSD symptom severity scores regardless of foster care status. Cognitive reappraisal was associated with less severe PTSD symptoms for foster and non-foster youth. Policy and practice implications for at-risk youth’s rights to psychological security are<br>discussed.<br>
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-36
JournalInternational Journal on Child Maltreatment
StatePublished - 2019

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    Hobbs, S., Bederian-Gardner, D., C. M. Ogle, Goodman, G. S., Hastings, P., Cordon, I. M., Bakanosky, S., Lawler, M., Chae, Y., & Narr, R. (2019). Psychological security in at-risk youth: Attachment, emotion regulation, and PTSD symptom severity. International Journal on Child Maltreatment, 17-36.