Emily Budde, Katelyn Barnes, Erin Collins



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Childhood Maltreatment (CM) survivors may have difficulty with college adjustment (CA), as evidence by higher dropout rates, in part because they may struggle using critical social resources. Among 114 first and second year undergraduates, parent and peer attachment were tested as mediators of the link between CM and total, relational, psychological, and educational CA. Gender was tested as a moderator, as female survivors have reported more relational disruption. Gender was found to moderate both the CM – attachment and attachment – CA links. Men, but not women, reported lower relational (CI = -.038, -.002) and total CA (CI = -.021, -.000) through impaired attachment to friends. While gender was found to moderate the links between CM and attachment to parents (p = .01), with a stronger relation for women (b = -.09) than men (b = -.05), no indirect effect was found through parent attachment. Findings suggest that, while both men and women may have impaired attachments, only men’s impaired relationships with friends affected CA. While counter to expectations, this may be consistent with documented stigma around CM in men, which may limit openness to using these social resources to adjust following CM and to college. College counseling centers could be critical in helping male survivors adjust by enhancing use of relational resources and by reducing stigmas.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Lucy J. Allbaugh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Gender Differences in the Role of Parent and Peer Attachment in College Adjustment for Childhood Maltreatment Survivors