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

ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the associations between attachment quality and perceived family-of-origin expressive atmosphere (FOEA) in a convenience sample of 279 participants. Multivariate analysis of variance (MAN-OVA) was used to examine the associations between attachment style and FOEA, and hierarchical regression was used to analyze FOEA as a predictor for attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Categorically, secure and dismissing individuals reported higher levels of FOEA than preoccupied and fearful ones. Dimensionally, FOEA predicted significant anxiety and avoidance. Findings in this study support the proposition of the family as a secure base for attachment formation.
    The Family Journal 07/2009; 17(3):220-228. DOI:10.1177/1066480709337806
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