Attachment Security and Alexithymia in a Heavy Drinking Population

Thorberg, Fred, Young, Ross McD., Sullivan, Karen A., Lyvers, Michael, Hurst, Cameron P., Connor, Jason, & Feeney, Gerald F.X. (2011) Attachment Security and Alexithymia in a Heavy Drinking Population. Addiction Research & Theory, 19(6), pp. 566-570.

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Attachment difficulties have been proposed as a key risk factor for the development of alexithymia, a multifaceted personality trait characterised by difficulties identifying and describing feelings, a lack of imagination and an externally oriented thinking style. The present study investigated the relationship between attachment and alexithymia in an alcohol dependent population. Participants were 210 outpatients in a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment Program assessed on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale (RAAS). Significant relationships between anxious attachment and alexithymia factors were confirmed. Furthermore, alexithymic alcoholics reported significantly higher levels of anxious attachment and significantly lower levels of closeness (secure attachment) compared to non-alexithymic alcoholics. These findings highlight the importance of assessing and targeting anxious attachment among alexithymic alcoholics in order to improve alcohol treatment outcomes. Keywords: Attachment, alexithymia, alcohol dependence.

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10 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 47817
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2011.580065
ISSN: 1606-6359
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 19 Dec 2011 03:29
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 23:26

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