Effects of childhood abuse and insecure attachment on misreading of anger from faces expressing various emotions
Y. Fukui1, K. Matsuo1, S. I. Oura1, Y. Shima2, T. Inagaki2 (1Kobe JP; 2Kagoshima JP)
The tendency to misrecognize the facial expression of others has been pointed out as the background of maladaptation of those who had been abused in childhood. Especially, they tend to read anger more excessively from others’ facial expressions, but it is known that these influences are attenuated after controlling attachment(Matsuo, et al., 2015). However, Matsuo et al.(2015) used faces with high level of emotionality. Therefore, Matsuo et al. (2017) used faces varying their intensity gradually, but they investigated only main effects of childhood abuse and attachment on misreading from various emotions. In this study, we reanalyzed the data of Matsuo et al.(2017), and revealed not only the main effects but also the interaction of childhood abuse and insecure attachment on misreading of anger especially. We conducted an experiment and a questionnaire survey for female university students. Result showed that the main effect of childhood abuse was seen only at low level of emotionality, but such effect disappeared after controlling attachment. The effect of the attachment-related-anxiety, which was one of dimensions of Internal Working Model of attachment, on misreading of anger at all levels of emotionalities was significant. Furthermore, the main effect of childhood abuse became significant only when the attachment-related-avoidance was higher. Moreover, misreading of anger was the highest in the "fearful-avoidant" type of attachment in which both attachment-related-anxiety and avoidance were higher. This study suggests that the tendency to misread anger from facial expressions of various emotions is defined by the insecure attachment rather than childhood abuse itself.