2. Department of Psychosocial Medicine, National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the independent impact of maternal childhood abuse history (MCAH), after controlling for maternal past, current parenting, and paternal past parenting, and maternal mental health (MMH) on the attachment problems of children living in mother-child homes in Japan.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among mothers (N=306) staying in 83 mother-child homes in Japan to assess mothers’ and fathers’ maltreatment toward their children before moving into the homes, mothers’ current maltreatment, MMH and MCAH in relation to their children’s (N=310) attachment problems.
Results: MCAHs were significantly and independently associated with children’s attachment problems after controlling for maternal past, current maltreatment, and paternal past maltreatment. Among covariates, MMH, especially dissociation, was independently significantly associated with children’s attachment problems.
Conclusions: The finding that MCAH has a significant impact on children’s attachment problems, independent of parental maltreatment, suggests inter-generational continuity of child maltreatment.
Keywords: Child abuse, inter-generational continuity, attachment, mental health, dissociation