Attachment representations in mothers, fathers, adolescents and clinical groups: a meta-analytic search for normative data. J Consult Clin Psychol 64: 8-21

Center for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 03/1996; 64(1):8-21. DOI: 10.1037//0022-006X.64.1.8
Source: PubMed


This meta-analysis on 33 studies, including more than 2,000 Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) classifications, presents distributions of AAI classifications in samples of nonclinical fathers and mothers, in adolescents, in samples from different cultures, and in clinical groups. Fathers, adolescents, and participants from different countries show about the same distribution of AAI classifications as nonclinical mothers do. The distribution of nonclinical mothers is as follows: 24% dismissing, 58% autonomous, and 18% preoccupied mothers. About 19% of the nonclinical mothers are unresolved with respect to loss or trauma of other kinds. Mothers from low socioeconomic status show more often dismissing attachment representations and unresolved loss or trauma. Autonomous women and autonomous men are more often married to each other than can be expected by chance, and the same goes for unresolved men and women. Clinical participants show highly deviating distributions of AAI classifications, with a strong overrepresentation of insecure attachment representations, but systematic relations between clinical diagnosis and type of insecurity are absent.

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    • "In light of these findings, it is of interest to determine whether the VASQ is related to depressive symptomatology or psychopathology among different populations. There is a growing interest in the connection between attachment styles and psychopathology (Dozier, Stovall & Albus 1999; Schindler et al. 2005; Van IJzendoorn & Bakermans-Kranenburg 1996), and the relations between attachment styles, psychopathology, and drug abuse. In one of the few published relevant studies (Mickelson, Kessler & Shaver 1997), psychiatric disorders in general were linked to avoidant and anxious attachment style, and substance use disorders were the only kind of disorders with a stronger relation to an avoidant rather than to an anxious attachment style. "
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between vulnerable attachment style, psychopathology, drug abuse, and retention in treatment among patients in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) was examined by the Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ), the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), and drug abuse urine tests. After six years, retention in treatment and repeated urine test results were studied. Patients with vulnerable attachment style (a high VASQ score) had higher rates of drug abuse and higher psychopathology levels compared to patients with secure attachment style, especially on the interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, and paranoid ideation scales. Drug abstinence at baseline was related to retention in treatment and to higher rates of drug abstinence after six years in MMT, whereas a vulnerable attachment style could not predict drug abstinence and retention in treatment. Clinical Implications concerning treatment of drug abusing populations and methodological issues concerning the VASQ's subscales are also discussed.
    Journal of psychoactive drugs 09/2014; 46(4):325-333. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2014.944290 · 1.10 Impact Factor
    • "Main and E. Hesse). Because there were only four " cannot classify " AAIs (3.92% of sample across the two samples), we included these interviews in the unresolved/disorganized category , as is standard practice in AAI research (e.g., Rifkin-Graboi, 2008; van IJzendoorn & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adult attachment classification is traditionally based on qualitative coding of participants' discourse about their attachment history. Word count-based analyses have proven useful for assessing emotional states from narrative. To expand the understanding of how language is used in emotion regulation processes related to attachment, the authors assess 102 college-aged adults' language on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Autonomous adults use more emotion words and, in particular, negative emotion words. Preoccupied adults use more anger words. Disorganized adults use more experientially connected language and more death/dying words, but also use more second-person pronouns when discussing loss. Language use during the AAI explains variability in self-reported emotional distress above and beyond attachment classifications. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance to emotion and attachment.
    Personal Relationships 03/2013; 20(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2012.01394.x · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    • "Disorganized attachment may develop in response to abusive, negligent, or frightening behavior of the caregiver or in response to loss of, and separation from that person. Insecure as well as disorganized attachment, found in 60–90% of clinical samples or populations in schools for special education (van Ijzendoorn and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 1996; Julius, 2001), are considered risk factors for socio-emotional development (Strauss et al., 2002), while secure attachment is known as a potent protective factor (Werner and Smith, 1982). Also in non-clinical samples only 50% (Grossmann et al., 1981, German sample) to 60% (Ainsworth et al., 1978, US-sample) of the children show a secure attachment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 90% of children with special education needs and about 40% of children in the general population show insecure or disorganized attachment patterns, which are linked to a diminished ability to use social support by others for the regulation of stress. The aim of the study was to investigate if children with insecure-avoidant/disorganized attachment can profit more from social support by a dog compared to a friendly human during a stressful task. We investigated 47 male children (age 7-11) with insecure-avoidant or disorganized attachment. Social stress was elicited via the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C). For one group of children a friendly therapy-dog (n = 24) was present, for one control group a friendly human (n = 10) and for the other control group a toy dog (n = 13). Stress levels of the children were measured via salivary cortisol at five times (t1-t5) before, during, and after the TSST-C and subjective reports. The physiological stress response was significantly lower in the dog condition in comparison to the two other support conditions at t4, t5 and the overall stress reaction from t1 to t5 (Area Under the Curve increase; Kruskal-Wallis H-Test, pairwise post hoc comparisons via Mann-Whitney U-Tests). Cortisol levels correlated negatively (r(s)) with the amount of physical contact between the child and dog. We conclude that male children with insecure-avoidant or disorganized attachment profit more from the presence of a therapy-dog than of a friendly human under social stress. Our findings support the assumption that the increasing practice of animal-assisted education is reasonable and that dogs can be helpful assistants in education/special education, since stress interferes with learning and performance in students.
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