Man dealing with trauma bonds with his girlfriend

Take This Trauma Bonding Quiz

5 min.

Trauma bonds can have distressing impacts on your mental health. Take this quiz to learn if you are or have experienced a trauma bond in a relationship.

By: Charlie Health Editorial Team

Clinically Reviewed By: Dr. Don Gasparini

March 21, 2024


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Table of Contents

Disclaimer: This quiz is not a diagnostic tool or substitute for professional mental health advice. It is not meant to imply the prevalence of any mental or physical health issue(s). 

What do the results of this trauma bonding quiz mean?

This trauma bonding quiz isn’t meant to diagnose trauma bonding, and it isn’t a substitute for professional mental health support. This quiz is designed to help you understand how likely it is that you are in a trauma-bonded relationship. Understanding the likelihood that you are in a trauma-bonded relationship can help you identify your relationship dynamics and seek professional help as necessary. Keep in mind that the quiz results are just one component to understanding your relationship dynamics and should be used with other forms of support, including connecting with a mental health professional and therapy.

What is a normal score on this quiz?

There is not a “normal” score on this trauma bonding quiz, as experiences of trauma bonding can vary due to the complexities of relationships and psychological experiences. However, the results of this quiz exist on a spectrum of trauma bonding, ranging from a low likelihood of experiencing a trauma bond to a high likelihood of experiencing trauma bonding. Interpret the score in the context of your own experiences and thoughts within your relationship rather than comparing it to a predefined “normal.”

What is a low score on this quiz?

A low score on this quiz indicates that you have little to no signs of trauma bonding in your relationship. This most likely means you rarely or never experienced the examples listed in the quiz. However, trauma bonding can manifest in various ways, and a low score on the quiz doesn’t necessarily guarantee that there is no trauma bonding in your relationship.

What is a high score on this quiz?

A high score on this quiz indicates that you reported experiencing frequent instances of behaviors characteristic of trauma bonding in your relationship. This means that you often or very often experienced the examples listed in the quiz. Seeking support from a mental health professional or trusted friend can help you navigate your feelings and experiences in a safe and healthy manner.

Who is this trauma bonding quiz for?

This trauma bonding quiz is designed for anyone who wants to know if they have experienced a trauma-bonded relationship—be it a familial, co-worker, or romantic relationship. While not a diagnostic tool, this quiz is intended to help people self-assess their experiences and recognize potential signs of trauma bonding, which can then inform their decision-making about seeking support or professional help if needed. 

Note that this quiz does not replace advice from a licensed mental health provider. After taking this quiz, it may be useful to connect with a mental health professional who can support you in processing how your relationship may involve trauma bonding and provide you with tools to establish healthy boundaries and cultivate a healthy relationship.

How can taking this trauma bonding quiz be helpful?

This trauma bonding quiz can help you reflect on dynamics in your relationships and recognize patterns of behavior that may indicate trauma bonding. It can also empower people to make informed choices about their relationships and take steps toward breaking free from harmful patterns. Since trauma bonding can occur in any relationship, it’s best to focus on one relationship at a time when taking this quiz. You may take it multiple times to assess if trauma bonding may be present in different relationships.

What is a trauma bond?

Trauma bonding refers to the emotional attachment that develops between people in a relationship marked by abusive behavior, whether it be emotional, physical, or psychological abuse. This concept is often discussed in the context of domestic violence, but it can also apply to any relationship where there is an imbalance of power and a cycle of abuse, including between parents and children, friends, or co-workers.

The bond is formed through a cycle of abuse followed by periods of kindness and affection from the abusive partner, creating a powerful emotional connection to the person causing harm. Victims of trauma bonding may defend or rationalize the abuser’s behavior and may struggle with feelings of loyalty, love, and attachment despite recognizing the harm being done to them. This makes it challenging for them to leave the abusive situation and can lead to a cycle of returning to the abuser after attempts to leave.

Understanding trauma bonding is key to figuring out the complicated dynamics of abusive relationships. It highlights how crucial it is to provide support and help to those stuck in the cycle of abuse.

Trauma bonding and intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is similar to domestic violence, where it involves harmful violence within intimate relationships. It can involve physical or psychological acts of violence perpetrated by one partner against the other. These acts may manifest as physical aggression, verbal abuse, emotional manipulation, or controlling behaviors. Such violence can inflict significant harm on the victim’s physical and mental well-being, creating an environment of fear, intimidation, and insecurity within the relationship. 

Trauma bonding can be a result of intimate partner violence, where victims may develop strong emotional attachments to their abusers due to the cycle of abuse and intermittent acts of kindness, leading to a deep-seated sense of loyalty and dependency despite the harm inflicted. Research has shown that trauma bonding can happen through empathy. An individual who has experienced IPV and feels empathy for their abusive partner may then experience trauma bonding. Additionally, research has shown that the need for closure mediates the relationship between IPV and trauma bonding. In a relationship where IPV is prevalent, it may look like the victim prefers to excuse or rationalize their partner’s actions.

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