Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale Among Partners of Service Members

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Abstract

The Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS; Pearlman, 2003) was developed to evaluate levels of cognitive schema disruption in 5 areas (safety, trust, intimacy, control, and esteem) identified by constructivist self-development theory as being sensitive to the effects of trauma. Although the TABS has been used to assess the effects of trauma in various populations commonly exposed to traumatic experiences, it has yet to be applied to a sample of partners of military service members, a population past research has identified as being exposed to secondary trauma related to partner military deployment. The current study evaluated the factor structure of the TABS with a sample of partners of service members. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on TABS data completed by a sample of 376 marital and nonmarital partners of service members. A 4-factor model that accounted for 37.32% of the total variance was found with the following factors represented: Other, Other-Safety, Self-Safety, and Self. This factor structure differs from the 10- and 3-factor models found in past literature (Pearlman, 2003; Varra, Pearlman, Brock, & Hodgson, 2008), and may reflect concerns that are unique to partners of service members specifically related to other-safety and self-safety. These findings support the use of the TABS with partners of service members. Information related to levels of cognitive schema disruption gained from the TABS can provide clinicians working with partners of service members with information to aid in effective implementation of empirically validated cognitive behavioral therapy and cognitive processing therapy treatments.

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