CRITICAL INCIDENT, ADULT ATTACHMENT STYLE, AND POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: A COMPARISON OF THREE GROUPS OF SECURITY WORKERS

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Abstract:

In this paper the authors render the results of research investigating adult attachment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of Belgian security workers. The sample contained 3 subsamples: 68 individuals who had directly experienced a critical incident, 67 individuals who indirectly went through a critical incident, and 77 individuals who had not experienced a critical incident in the last six months. The analysis of the research results shows that the secure attachment style and the three PTSD trauma symptom clusters in DSM-IV - intrusion, avoidance/numbing, and hyperarousal - discriminate between the three subsamples. In other words, security workers who were directly and actively confronted with a critical incident were significantly more insecurely attached and suffered significantly more from PTSD symptoms than the groups who had no or indirect experience of a critical incident. Furthermore, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy is widely and quite efficiently used in the treatment of PTSD. Interest has been expressed in medical approaches.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.8.1063

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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