The Impact of Childhood Trauma as Moderated by Rumination

Aislyn M. Allen, University of South Carolina - Aiken


The current study explored the relationship between childhood trauma and deliberate rumination, as well as PTSD symptomology, psychological and physiological functioning. Participants consisted of 55 undergraduate students, ages 18-23; who completed measures about a specific traumatic event, psychological functioning, parental attachment, PTSD symptoms, deliberate rumination, childhood maltreatment, and a demographics questionnaire. Reported childhood trauma was a specifically identified traumatic life event, child maltreatment, or having a parent with a substance abuse or mental disorder. Following completion of measures, participants were asked to answer questions while HR, HRV, and EDA were monitored. Results indicated there was relation among child maltreatment, psychological functioning, and physiological functioning. Further, results suggested that deliberate rumination is positively correlated with PTSD symptoms. Moreover, results indicated that participants who reported high childhood maltreatment had worse psychological functioning than those who did not report maltreatment. There was also a main effect of PTSD symptoms and childhood maltreatment on psychological functioning.