Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Adult Attachment Interview, Attachment theory, Christian, Men, Phenomenological, Same-sex attraction
Counseling | Counseling Psychology
Gillies, Ann, "An Exploration of Early Childhood Attachment in a Sample of Christian Men Experiencing Same-Sex Attraction" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 802.
The purpose of the study was to describe the attachment histories of these men in an attempt to hear the lived experiences from the voices of the men themselves. The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) was utilized, followed by several in-depth questions. A phenomenological analysis of the transcripts revealed several themes.
The AAI themes were identified as Insecure attachment: (a) Unresolved/disorganized (U/d) due to loss; (b) Passively Preoccupied (E) with a rejecting/neglecting father and an involving/rejecting mother. Secondary themes of abuse and peer rejection were also identified. The themes of a neglecting father and over-involved mother were collaborated in the in-depth interview as well. God attachment was shown to be extremely significant in the lives of each of these men.
The implications of these findings for counseling practice with this population, includes the need for skilled Christian counselors who are sensitive to not only the lived experiences of such men, but also their deep need for intimacy with God.