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Title: Attachment Style, Therapeutic Alliance and Recovery in forensic mental health : the A-STAR study and clinical research portfolio
Author: McNaughton, Joanna
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Research suggests that forensic mental health services and staff can play an important role in the recognition and intervention with attachment-related behaviours to promote engagement and recovery. There is a lack of literature exploring whether the attachment needs of forensic service-users are recognised and, associations between attachment style and factors predictive of recovery. Aims: This study aimed to examine the extent to which service-users and keyworkers agree about service-users’ attachment and to identify whether attachment was associated with service attachment, working alliance, ward climate and recovery. Methods: Twenty-two service-users from low and medium secure forensic services, completed questionnaire measures of their attachment style, service attachment, working alliance, ward climate and experiences of recovery. Nineteen keyworkers completed measures of the service-users attachment style and working alliance. Results: There was strong agreement between service-users and staff for attachment anxiety (ICC=0.71) but poor agreement for attachment avoidance (ICC=0.39). Service attachment was associated with more positive perceptions of staff support (r=0.49) and avoidant attachment was associated with lower ratings of recovery (r=-0.51). Correlations between attachment style and service attachment, working alliance and ward climate were small and non-significant. Conclusions: A focus on staff training to support recognition of the nature and impact of avoidant attachment styles is indicated. The findings suggest that interventions to enhance staff - service-user relationships may be important for service attachment and indeed promotion of a recovery focused orientation amongst service-users high in avoidant attachment may improve wellbeing and outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology