Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. C. Thresa Yancey


Studies show the detrimental effects of childhood maltreatment (i.e., childhood physical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, invalidation, and multiple forms of maltreatment; Afifi et al., 2016). Research demonstrates individuals with a history of childhood maltreatment have distinct patterns of personality characteristics (Allen & Lauterbach, 2007). Specifically, individuals with history of childhood maltreatment typically report high neuroticism, high openness, and low agreeableness compared to those with no history of maltreatment (Distel et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2012). Less is known about personality differences among individuals with different forms of childhood maltreatment (e.g., physical abuse vs. sexual abuse vs. invalidation vs. multiple forms of abuse). This study examined the relationships among childhood maltreatment and personality characteristics within a college population. Specifically, the aim was to replicate previous findings demonstrating personality differences between those with and without histories of childhood maltreatment and to extend the research by examining potential personality differences related to type of childhood maltreatment.