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Title: Using the child attachment interview to identify disorganised attachment
Author: Bodinetz, M.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The question addressed in this review was whether or not the available empirical evidence suggested a significant association between childhood maltreatment and insecure attachment. In particular the focus was on the disorganised category of attachment insecurity as attachment theory considers this to be the most problematic attachment classification in terms of the links to later psychopathology (Carlson, 1998). The purpose of this paper was therefore to review the empirical evidence of an association between childhood maltreatment and attachment insecurity and, through a meta-analysis, calculate the odds ratios associated with a maltreated child being classified as having an insecure attachment style, in particular disorganised attachment. Following a literature search that yielded 84 citations, 12 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria (see method section for details of the systematic search). The results of the meta-analysis showed that children who had been maltreated were at a significantly greater risk of having an insecure attachment pattern. In particular, the disorganised attachment classification showed a greater association than either the avoidant or preoccupied classifications. These findings support the theoretical link between childhood maltreatment and attachment insecurity and suggest that disorganisation of the attachment system is a possible mediator of the negative outcomes associated with childhood maltreatment. This would indicate the necessity for further examination of this association, with particular focus on the disorganised attachment category.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available