MethodsParticipants of interpersonal targets (not just romantic relationships) and

MethodsParticipants To conduct the proposed study, 143 female participants between the ages of 12 and 18 will be recruited through the Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), population size  appropriate at a 95% confidence level. FSRI is a division of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). DCYF is an organization that helps and supports the needs of traumatized children and their families in the state of Rhode Island. Participants will conveniently be recruited from the five residential treatment programs currently operated by FSRI for adolescent females ranging between the ages of 12-17. Clients will be asked during the mandatory weekly meeting held with their clinician to participate in the present study. All participants must speak English, must be over 12 years of age, and must have parental consent if under the age of 18. Each participant will be asked to report on age and race. MeasuresChildhood Trauma Questionnaire. For the variable childhood trauma, defined as the traumatic experiences that occur to children aged 0-6, participants will respond to six items (i.e. Prior to the age of 17, was there a major upheaval between your parents such as divorce or separation? If yes, how traumatic was this?; Prior to the age of 17, were you a victim of violence? If yes, how traumatic was this?). Response options range from 1 (not traumatic at all) to 7 (extremely traumatic). Higher scores reported on the questionnaire indicated higher levels of trauma. (Pennebaker & Susman, 1988). The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire has been found to be a sensitive and valid screening questionnaire for childhood trauma (Bernstein et al, 1997). The Relationships Structures Questionnaire. For the variable attachment, participants will respond to nine-items (i.e. ) from the Relationship Structure Questionnaire (i.e. I usually discuss my problems and concerns with this person.; I’m afraid that this person may abandon me.). Response options ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The Relationship Structures questionnaire is a self-report instrument designed to assess attachment patterns in a variety of close relationships. The items were written in a way that allows them to be used for a variety of interpersonal targets (not just romantic relationships) and for a variety of age groups. (Fraley et al, 2011). The Relationship Structures has shown to have high internal validity (Schwarz & Scheuring, 1988).Emotional Regulation Questionnaire. Emotional regulation is defined as one’s ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed. The Emotional Regulation Questionnaire Scale consists of 10 items designed to measure respondents’ tendency to regulate their emotions in two ways: (1) Cognitive Reappraisal and (2) Expressive Suppression (i.e. I control my emotions by changing the way I think about the situation I’m in.; When I’m faced with a stressful situation, I make myself think about it in a way that helps me stay calm.). Response options range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). (Gross & John, 2003). The Emotional Regulation Question has been regarded as a component of quality assurance (Zangi et al., 2009). Procedures Survey data will be collected in-person. Parental consent forms must be completed prior to client participation. All answers will remain confidential. Each participant will be asked to complete three paper-pencil questionnaires reporting on trauma, relationships, and emotional regulation. Each questionnaire will take about 15 minutes to complete. Participants will receive $5 for each completed questionnaire. Participants will be informed about the reasons behind the proposed study, will be aware that they can drop-out at any time, and will be debriefed at the end of participation. Analytic PlanData collection will be analyzed using SPSS Statistical Software. A correlation model will be used to examine the relationship between the independent variable, early childhood trauma, and the dependent variable, peer relationship in adolescence. A linear regression model will then be used to investigate if emotional regulation, an additional independent variable, impacts the strength of that relationship. SPSS uses wise deletion to handle missing data. A sample size of 103 is needed to report at a 95% confidence level. The proposed study meets the criteria with 143 participants. The cut-off for significance will be set at p<.05 for all relationships under investigation. ConclusionSeveral studies have indicated a link between early childhood trauma and insecure attachment development (Erozkan, 2016; Friedrich, 2002). Secure attachment is the foundation for healthy emotional development and subsequent healthy, stable relationships. Trauma related experiences (particularly in childhood), undermine attachments, thereby creating a cycle of further trauma, intra psychic distress and alienation from sources of support (Nilsson, Holmqvist, & Jonson, 2011). Attachment is one specific aspect of the relationship between a child and a parent with its purpose being to make a child safe, secure and protected (Benoit, 2004). Unfortunately, a child with an insecure attachment style may lack the ability to regulate their emotions (Howe, 2011).  The study offers an explanation into the relationship between emotion regulation and the insecure attachment development found in those who have experienced trauma in early childhood. If emotional regulation is related to higher levels of insecure attachment associated with early childhood trauma, further investigation into the development of strong emotional regulation skills and one's ability to acquire these skills after trauma may prevent unhealthy attachment later in life.The proposed study includes several limitations. First, participant selection is an issue, which affects the internal validity of the study. Additionally, extraneous variables may be a factor. In that, individual characteristics such as personality have not been controlled for, which may play a role on attachment and the development of peer relationships in adolescence. In  addition, the use of self-report measures, indicating mono-method bias. Therefore, future studies may consider using an addition technique to obtain a better understanding of the relationship between childhood trauma and attachment development, as well as, emotional regulation skills. Moreover, future investigation may want to include a larger sample size to be more generalizable to the overall population. Also, population size should be increased, possibly including male participants and participants living outside the state of Rhode Island. Lastly, future investigation into how different types of trauma, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, impact peer relationships differently in adolescence. 

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