Internalizing and externalizing trajectories in maltreated children: the role of attachment - This study explores in 56 child abused children the role of attachment as a mediator of the relation between child abuse and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. We assume that the type and the duration of child abuse predict both internalizing/ externalizing behaviors and the insecure attachments and that just these affective bonds could explain the different consequences in terms of adaptive and disadaptive developments. According to this aim, we administered to the sample: the SAT (Attili, 2001) to analyze the attachment bonds; the CBCL (Achenbach, 1991) to explore internalizing and externalizing behaviours. Results show that the type and the duration of child abuse predict both internalizing/externalizing behaviours and insecure attachments. In relation to the mediational role of attachment, data show a limited and partial confirm of the hypothesis. In fact, only the disorganized attachment mediates the relation between the type of child abuse and internalizing/externalizing behaviours.
Key words: child abuse, attachment, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, mediators