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Family Environment and Adult Attachment as Predictors of Psychopathology and Personality Dysfunction Among Inpatient Abuse Survivors

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The current study explored the role of early family environment and adult attachment style in explaining long-term outcomes among child abuse survivors. Adult patients (N = 80) in a trauma treatment program were assessed for clinical diagnosis and administered a multiscale questionnaire. Hierarchical regression analyses were significant for dissociative identity disorder (DID), substance abuse, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress, somatization, and six personality disorder dimensions. Adult attachment styles were significant predictors of most outcome variables. Of particular note was the strong contribution of attachment avoidance to DID. Five family environment scales (Independence, Organization, Control, Conflict, Expressiveness) also contributed to various psychopathological outcomes. Evidence emerged supporting a mediating role for attachment style in the link between family independence and five personality disorder dimensions.
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Keywords: ATTACHMENT STYLE; CHILD ABUSE; FAMILY ENVIRONMENT; PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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