Emotional Maltreatment and Verbal Victimization in Childhood: Relation to Adults’ Depressive Cognitions and Symptomsedit
Despite evidence that a history of childhood emotional maltreatment is related to the presence of a cognitive vulnerability to depression in adulthood, few studies have examined the relative impact of emotional maltreatment from parents versus verbal victimization from peers. In addition, no study of which we are aware has examined the relative impact of these forms of victimization on the presence of negative versus positive automatic thoughts in adulthood. Given this, we tested the hypothesis that negative and positive automatic thoughts would mediate the link between childhood emotional maltreatment and verbal victimization and young adults’ current depressive symptoms. This hypothesis was supported. In addition, both emotional maltreatment and verbal victimization were independently related to the presence of negative automatic thoughts and both were significantly more strongly related to levels of negative thoughts than positive thoughts.