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Title: Adult attachment styles and childhood experiences of parenting of men diagnosed with personality disorder, detained in a high security psychiatric hospital : an exploratory study
Author: Sainsbury, Louise
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1999
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This study examined the relationships between retrospective recall of childhood experiences of parenting and abuse, and self report measures of adult attachment styles and personality disorder, in a sample of men diagnosed with personality disorder and detained in a high security psychiatric hospital for committing serious criminal offences. The results found predominantly insecure attachment styles within this sample and an association between attachment anxiety and severity of personality disorder. Recalled repeated separations from attachment figures were related to severity of personality disorder. Specific characteristics of parenting and abuse were related to severity of attachment anxiety and avoidance in adult intimate relationships. Furthermore, greater attachment anxiety was found for participants with a history of sex offences against children, compared with participants who had committed violent non-sex offences. These results suggest that adult attachment style may play a mediating role between childhood experiences and severity of personality disorder. These results provide further support for the applicability of attachment theory to the understanding of offending. The results highlight clinical implications for individuals therapy, ward interventions, patient selection and service organisation. In particular the interaction between staff attachment styles and effectiveness of interventions is discussed. This study suggests areas for future research including more detailed research of childhood experiences, attachment theory and personality disorder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available