Childhood Abuse, Neglect, and Maternal Sensitivity as Antecedents of Scripted Romantic Attachment Representations
Within attachment theory, a new way of operationalizing adult attachment representations (i.e., secure base script knowledge) has emerged as a way of coding for attachment with greater efficiency and comparable validity to traditional coding methods. Recently, a secure base script knowledge coding scheme was developed and validated for use in relation to the Current Relationships Interview (CRIsbs; Nivison et al., in press), an interview focused on adults’ romantic relationships. However, the extent to which CRIsbs has its origins in early caregiving experiences—specifically, experiences of abuse and/or neglect, and maternal sensitivity—has not yet been examined. Using data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA; n = 116 participants; 48% female, 69% White, non-Hispanic), the present study aims to examine associations between these caregiving antecedents and CRIsbs. Furthermore, this report examines whether different parameterizations of abuse and/or neglect (i.e., perpetrator, developmental timing, and subtype) are uniquely associated with CRIsbs. Results demonstrated that CRIsbs was not significantly associated with total experiences of abuse and/or neglect (r = -0.09) nor maternal sensitivity (r = 0.12). Finally, CRIsbs was not significantly associated with any specific parametrization of abuse (i.e., perpetrator [r = -0.07 - 0.01], developmental timing [r = -0.13 - 0.01], or type of abuse [r = -0.10 - 0.02]).