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08-03-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 6/2018

Mindfulness 6/2018

Childhood Trauma and Somatization: Identifying Mechanisms for Targeted Intervention

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 6/2018
Auteurs:
Emily B. Kroska, Anne I. Roche, Michael W. O’Hara

Abstract

Childhood trauma is associated with a variety of adverse physical and mental health problems, including somatization. The exploration of the mechanisms through which this association may exist is important for developing targeted interventions to improve physical and psychological outcomes. The current studies examined the mediating roles of (1) mindfulness and (2) experiential avoidance in the association between childhood trauma and somatization. The associations of interest were examined both in a group of at-risk adolescents, as well as in a community sample of adults. A total of 51 at-risk adolescents and 287 community adults completed self-report measures of childhood trauma, mindfulness, experiential avoidance, and somatization. Bootstrapped indirect effect analyses indicated that mindfulness and experiential avoidance significantly mediated the association between childhood trauma and somatization in adolescents. Additionally, both experiential avoidance and nonjudgment of inner experience significantly mediated the association between childhood trauma and somatization in adults. Overall, mindfulness and experiential avoidance appear to be mechanisms through which the association between childhood trauma and somatization may exist. The results of the current studies highlight the need for future research examining preventive interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), that target processes like mindfulness and experiential avoidance in order to improve outcomes for trauma-exposed individuals.

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