Attachment orientations and adult alcohol use amongst those with childhood adversities

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Abstract

Background; Adverse psychological consequences have been associated with both alcohol abstinence and alcohol disorders. Objectives; The current study considers those who have experienced childhood adversities and examines whether secure attachment orientation represents a protective factor against an increased likelihood of either abstinence/rare alcohol consumption or alcohol disorder diagnosis. Methods; Data was used from the National Comorbidity Survey Revised (NCS-R) (N=5692), a random sample representative of the American population. Adult personal alcohol use was considered in terms of abstinence/rare alcohol use, regular alcohol use and alcohol disorder diagnosis. Analyses focused on those who had experienced childhood adversities (N=2182) and assessed attachment orientation as a predictor of alcohol use. Results; Within those who had experienced childhood adversities, in comparison with securely attached individuals, both anxiously attached individuals and avoidant attached individuals had a significantly increased likelihood of being in the alcohol disorder diagnosis group as opposed to the regular alcohol consumption group. Avoidant individuals also had a significantly increased likelihood of being in the abstinence/rare alcohol use group. Conclusions/Importance; Results are discussed in terms of subgroups (vulnerable individuals and families) that may benefit from supportive interventions, and what format these interventions might take.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • alcohol; attachment; childhood adversity

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