Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Specialization

Clinical Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Ellen Flannery-Schroeder

Abstract

Childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) represents a major public health concern, and the consequences of CEM are understudied. Emotional maltreatment is comprised of both emotional abuse (EA) and emotional neglect (EN). Although the link between CEM and overall psychological distress is well established, less is known about the mechanisms through which a history of CEM can influence symptoms of anxiety. The current study hypothesized that engagement in a healthy lifestyle would mediate the relationship between CEM and symptoms of anxiety. It was also hypothesized that gender would moderate this relationship. The current study analyzed EA and EN separately. Results indicated that engaging in a healthy lifestyle partially mediated the relationship between EN and anxiety. The mediating effect of lifestyle behaviors on EA and anxiety was not significant. In addition, gender was not found to moderate EA or EN and symptoms of anxiety. Limitations of the current study and future directions are discussed.

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