The effect of childhood trauma on psychopathology and well-being: Personal narratives as mediating variables

Akçay Usun H., Güneri G., Şimşek Ö. F., KOCAYÖRÜK E.

Journal of Family Trauma, Child Custody and Child Development, vol.20, no.4, pp.410-428, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/26904586.2022.2164544
  • Journal Name: Journal of Family Trauma, Child Custody and Child Development
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, HeinOnline-Law Journal Library, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.410-428
  • Keywords: Childhood trauma, mental health, mental illness, personal narratives, well-being
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


A large body of past research indicates the long-term effects of childhood trauma (CT) and adversity on mental illness and mental health. Although some studies focus on the constructs that mediate between CT and adult functioning, there is still a need to investigate the mechanisms underlying in this relation. In the present study, both mental illness (depression and anxiety) and mental health (life satisfaction) were considered and the mediatory role of personal narratives [operationalized by Ontological Well-Being (OWB)] between CT and both mental illness and mental health was examined by using structural equation modeling. Participants were 200 adults (116 women, 84 men) from the general population in Turkey. They completed a self-report questionnaire assessing CT, OWB, depression and anxiety as well as life satisfaction. Mediation analysis indicated that OWB mediated the relationship between CT and mental illness, as well as CT and mental health. The model tested in this research suggested that change in life stories (or OWB) of CT survivors might provide rapid improvement in their mental health condition.