Recalled childhood bullying victimization and shame in adulthood: The influence of attachment security, self-compassion, and emotion regulation.

Bullying during childhood can have negative effects on mental health that last into adulthood and can manifest as shame, but little is known about factors that could attenuate the relationship between bullying in childhood and shame in adulthood. Three hundred twenty-two college students completed surveys regarding bullying and cyberbullying in childhood, attachment security, ability to regulate emotions, self-compassion, and shame. A structural model that was based on an integration of attachment theory and cognitive adaptation theory was tested and compared with an alternate model that did not include the attachment variable or theory. Results from structural equation modeling provided evidence that the primary model was a better fit to the data than the alternate model. Further, attachment was found to relate to shame both directly and indirectly through the path of self-compassion. Results from this study support that shame in adulthood for survivors of childhood bullying is significantly influenced by attachment security, amount of childhood bullying, emotion regulation, and self-compassion. Results also provided evidence of a relationship between attachment security and emotion regulation and between attachment security and self-compassion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)