Family Environment and Adult Attachment as Predictors of Psychopathology and Personality Dysfunction Among Inpatient Abuse Survivors

Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton 76203-1280, USA.
Violence and Victims (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2007; 22(5):577-600. DOI: 10.1891/088667007782312159
Source: PubMed


The current study explored the role of early family environment and adult attachment style in explaining long-term outcomes among child abuse survivors. Adult patients (N = 80) in a trauma treatment program were assessed for clinical diagnosis and administered a multiscale questionnaire. Hierarchical regression analyses were significant for dissociative identity disorder (DID), substance abuse, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress, somatization, and six personality disorder dimensions. Adult attachment styles were significant predictors of most outcome variables. Of particular note was the strong contribution of attachment avoidance to DID. Five family environment scales (Independence, Organization, Control, Conflict, Expressiveness) also contributed to various psychopathological outcomes. Evidence emerged supporting a mediating role for attachment style in the link between family independence and five personality disorder dimensions.

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    • "more likely among individuals with anxious attachment styles (Riggs et al., 2007). In addition, results in the current study are congruent with the literature showing that the fearful attachment style predominates among individuals with drug dependence (Schindler et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adult attachment styles and spirituality have been shown to be protective factors against depressive symptoms among individuals in treatment for substance use disorders. However, no studies to date have examined how these two factors simultaneously are related to depressive symptomatology in this population. Thus, this study aimed to examine how adult attachment styles (secure vs. insecure attachment styles) and 2 distinct spirituality dimensions (existential purpose and meaning in life and religious well-being or the perceived relationship with God) are associated with depressive symptoms. Using a cross-sectional design, 77 individuals receiving substance abuse treatment were asked to complete a battery of self-report questionnaires. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that secure attachment style and higher levels of existential purpose and meaning in life were significantly related to lower levels of depressive symptoms whereby the existential purpose and meaning in life was a stronger predictor of depressive symptoms. These results suggest that practitioners may consider addressing attachment issues during treatment; however, emphasizing ways to increase individuals' purpose and meaning in life may further enhance treatment outcomes. Future research should utilize a larger sample size, include more comprehensive measures of attachment styles, and explore ways to increase purpose and meaning in life in this population.
    Journal of Social Service Research 04/2014; 40(3):313-324. DOI:10.1080/01488376.2014.896851 · 0.44 Impact Factor
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    • "Arriving at an AAI classification is a time-and labor-intensive process. Though research finds associations between parental AAI classifications with infants' SSP classifications (e.g., Fonagy, Steele, & Steele, 1991) as well as associations between AAI classification and parenting sensitivity (Cohn, Cowan, Cowan, & Pearson, 1992; Crowell & Feldman, 1988; De Wolff & van IJzendoorn, 1997), risk for psychopathology (Fonagy et al., 1996; Riggs et al., 2007), and response to psychotherapy (Heinicke & Levine, 2008), the explicit focus on the parent's relationship with his/her parents (and not with his/her child) could be a deterrent for its use in child custody evaluations. "
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    ABSTRACT: The applicability of attachment theory to the practice of performing child custody evaluations has been a topic of interest in the literature, yet there remains a chasm between research and practice. Evaluating the quality of parent-child relationships is a central task of custody evaluators; however, the field has not been well informed by the vast scientific knowledge base forged by attachment theory. Current practice among custody evaluators involves the use of terminology and conclusions that often distort the findings from attachment research. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the key concepts in attachment, to describe select attachment assessment tools and their potential applicability to the custody evaluation context, and to provide models for potential integration of attachment research in evaluations. Given the limited research pertaining to the use of such instruments within a forensic setting, the need for research evaluating key attachment assessment tools among child custody litigants is highlighted.
    Journal of Child Custody 07/2011; 8(3):212-242. DOI:10.1080/15379418.2011.594736
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    • "Therefore, personality may moderate relationships in the model. Furthermore, the development of psychopathology in response to traumatic events such as child sexual abuse is influenced by attachment relationships (Charuvastra & Cloitre, 2008; Riggs, et al., 2007). Finally, given findings that race/ethnicity moderated the relationships between domestic violence victimization and substance abuse (Sullivan, Cavanaugh, Ufner, Swan, & Snow, in press) and racial/ethnic differences in parental communication about sex (Hutchinson, 2002; Meneses, Orrell-Valente, Guendelman, Oman, & Irwin, 2006), parental monitoring (Crosby, et al., 2006), and substance use disorders (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006), race/ethnicity is also indicated as a potential moderator of the relationships modeled in figure 2. "
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood sexual abuse is prevalent among women, and it has been linked to a number of problems affecting women's health and functioning, including women's parenting practices. Another body of literature has linked specific maternal parenting practices--including mother-daughter sex communication, monitoring/knowledge about daughters' activities, mother-daughter relationship quality, attitudes toward sex, and modeling of sexual values--to daughters' HIV risk. This article reviews and links these two bodies of literature to indicate how mothers' histories of childhood sexual abuse may compromise their parenting practices, which may in turn impact daughters' HIV risk. We also build upon R. Malow, J. Devieux, and B. A. Lucenko's (2006) model of the associations between childhood sexual abuse and HIV risk to present a model indicating potential intergenerational pathways between childhood sexual abuse and HIV risk among women. The literature supporting this model and gaps in the literature are described.
    Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 02/2009; 10(2):151-69. DOI:10.1080/15299730802624536 · 1.72 Impact Factor
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