The effect of positive childhood experiences on adult personality psychopathology

Gunay-Oge R., Pehlivan F. Z., İŞIKLI S.

PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, vol.158, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 158
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.109862
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, PASCAL, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Index Islamicus, Psycinfo, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Most of the current literature on the subject focuses on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and adult personality psychopathology; however, as far as is known, there is no research investigating the relationship between positive childhood experiences and adult personality disorder symptoms. The present study aims to highlight the association between positive childhood experiences and adult personality psychopathology. To investigate this association, 341 participants were recruited for this study, in which the Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale, the Benevolent Childhood Experiences Scale and the Coolidge Axis II Inventory Plus were used. Stepwise linear regressions supported the position that despite the presence of adverse childhood experiences, there are independent relationships between positive childhood experiences and 11 out of 14 personality disorder symptoms (Antisocial, Avoidant, Borderline, Dependent, Depressive, Obsessive-Compulsive, Paranoid, Passive-Aggressive, Schizoid, Schizotypal and Self-defeating Personality Disorder (PD) symptoms). Results did not support an independent relationship between positive childhood experiences and histrionic, sadistic or narcissistic personality disorder traits. The results of the study illuminate how positive childhood experiences may counteract long-term effects of childhood adversity.