Attachment, personality, and psychopathology among adult inpatients: Self-reported romantic attachment style versus Adult Attachment Interview states of mind

Shelley A. Riggs, Adrienne Paulson, Ellen Tunnell, Gayla Sahl, Heather Atkison, Colin A. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined self-reported romantic attachment style and Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) states of mind regarding early attachment relationships, personality dimensions, and psychopathology in a psychiatric sample of trauma survivors. Inpatients (N = 80) admitted to a hospital trauma treatment program were administered the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, AAI, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III, Dissociative Experiences Scale, and Dissociative Disorder Interview Schedule. Self-report and AAI attachment classifications were not related, and different results emerged for the two measures. Self-reported romantic attachment style was significantly associated with personality dimensions, with fearful adults showing the most maladaptive personality profiles. Findings suggested that self-report dimensions of self and other independently contribute to different forms of psychological dysfunction. AAI unresolved trauma was uniquely associated with dissociation and posttraumatic stress disorder, whereas unresolved trauma and unresolved loss jointly contributed to schizotypal and borderline personality disorder scores. The differences in findings between the two measures are discussed with a view toward the developmental and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-291
Number of pages29
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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