Institution Granting Degree
The Union Institute
Attachment styles, Psychopathology, Personality disorders, Clinical syndromes
This study investigated the relationship between a self-report measure of adult attachment and a self-report measure of psychopathology. Sixty-one outpatients and fourteen acute inpatients were administered the Experiences in Close Relationships (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998) questionnaire and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory--3 rd Edition (Millon, 1994), along with a basic demographics questionnaire. Results indicated that only ten percent of the participants were classified as secure while ninety percent were insecure. Relative to the secure group, both preoccupied and fearful attachment styles reported significantly higher levels of overall psychopathology, especially in regard to personality dysfunction. Moreover, when compared head-to-head with dismissing attachment, preoccupied individuals were more likely to experience elevated symptoms of borderline personality disorder and dismissing individuals reported more symptoms of antisocial personality disorder. There were no identifiable differences between preoccupied and fearful attachment. Results were discussed in terms of their general degree of consistency with previous research conducted with other self-report measures of attachment as well as interview methods such as the Adult Attachment Interview (Main & Goldwyn, 1998). Moreover, specific recommendations were made for future researchers using self-report measures of attachment within clinical settings.