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Title: The role of attachment in adult mental health difficulties following the experience of childhood abuse
Author: Selwood, Emma
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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Child abuse is recognised to contribute to the development of adult mental health problems and personality disorders. The role of attachment in this relationship is widely acknowledged, but not well understood. A systematic review of the literature investigated studies considering the role of adult attachment in symptoms of PTSD in populations which had experienced child abuse. Different attachment styles, particularly ‘negative model of self’ were shown to be associated with PTSD. Moderating and mediating roles of attachment was observed across some, but not all studies. The influence of different forms of abuse and attachment figures were observed and discussed with relation to limitations of studies and clinical implications. Prevalence rates of child abuse, mental health difficulties, personality disorders and emotion dysregulation are high in the homeless population. Although associated with these factors, the relationship with attachment has not been researched. The empirical paper used a cross sectional design to investigate the presence of personality constructs associated with self-control, and, the role of attachment with these factors. Ninety-one participants completed self-report measures, identifying high levels of ego under-control and ego-resiliency. Results showed significant correlations across the majority of variables. Bootstrapping methodology suggested anxious attachment mediated the relationship between child abuse and emotion dysregulation. Further analysis showed emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between anxious and avoidant attachment, and, self-control. These findings provide further support for the role of attachment in mental health problems and personality disorders, and, previous research recognising the importance of individual factors influencing the experience of being homelessness.
Supervisor: Maguire, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare