Attachment and psychopathology in a community sample Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Object Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Residence Characteristics


  • The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID-I) and the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) were administered to 60 women participating in a study (n=226) of mother-child interaction. These women were not referred to the study for psychiatric care. The 60 women interviewed with the AAI were selected from the first 190 women who completed the SCID-I, so that 30 received a diagnosis and 30 did not. Analyses indicated that psychopathology diagnoses were associated significantly with mental representations of attachment classified in the AAI. The non-autonomous groups had increased likelihood of SCID diagnosis, compared to the autonomous group. While 32% of women with autonomous AAI transcripts received SCID diagnoses, 63% of women with Dismissing, 100% of woman with Preoccupied, and 65% of women with Unresolved transcripts received diagnoses. Secondary analyses indicated that Dismissing classifications were associated with Axis I diagnoses and Preoccupied classifications with affective disorders. Of note was that among women with Unresolved classifications, underlying secure attachment was associated with low risk of psychopathology, while underlying anxious attachment was associated with elevated risk of diagnosis. These findings support the premise from attachment theory that early relationships affect patterns of interpersonal expectations and behavior and affect regulation.

publication date

  • December 2006



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/14616730601048241

PubMed ID

  • 17178611

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 327

end page

  • 40


  • 8


  • 4