Lifespan interviews provide rich contextual information about childhood and adult trauma and risks for clinical disorder. Sisters’ interviews can give information on concordance of experience as well as individual differences in relating. Examining sister’s reports of their common in experience in childhood, and different experience in adulthood can be illuminating. A pair of sisters selected for a study of adverse childhood experience, attachment style and depression, are used to illustrate key experiences from this area of investigation. Taken from a London sample of women, the adult sisters report common emotional neglect, being brought up in a household of 13 children in Ireland. One of the sister’s reports role reversal, expected to parent her younger sisters; the other sister reports sibling physical abuse. Both emigrate to England for different adult life experience. Adult trauma events include a traumatic birth and a brief episode of domestic violence. Both sisters experience insecure attachment styles as adults, one with anxious fearful style, the other avoidant withdrawn style. Both experience clinical depression with GAD anxiety. The interpretations combine both socio-ecological (issues of childhood deprivation and immigration) and attachment style as sequelae of childhood adversity with implications for adult adaptation.
Keywords: Deprivation, neglect, insecure attachment, narrative, depression, migration.