Title

Adult Attachment Typology in a Sample of High-Risk Mothers

Publication Date

1-28-2011

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study examined differences in attachment typology, early histories of unresolved trauma and loss, and intergenerational patterns of substance abuse in a high-risk sample of African American, White, Mexican American, and Native American mothers involved with the child welfare system. The Adult Attachment Interview and Chemical Dependency Assessment Profile were used to collect data from 24 mothers who were in-patients at a substance abuse treatment center. Consistent with attachment theory mothers classified as secure/autonomous (46%) had positive early attachment relationships, although several mothers in this group had histories of unresolved trauma and loss. The insecure classification included 21% dismissing and 33% preoccupied. The unresolved classification included mothers from all racial/ethnic groups who had histories of trauma and loss. Results indicated prevalence of substance abuse in all racial/ethnic groups as well as patterns of intergenerational substance abuse in the aforementioned attachment classifications.

Publication Title

Smith College Studies in Social Work

Volume

81

Issue

1

First Page

41

Last Page

61

DOI

10.1080/00377317.2011.543043

Version

pre-print, post-print

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