Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample

Fred Arne Thorberg, Ross McDonald Young, Karen A. Sullivan, Michael Lyvers, Cameron P. Hurst, Jason P. Connor, Gerald F X Feeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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. This study investigated the relationship between attachment and alexithymia in an alcohol-dependent population. Participants were 210 outpatients in a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment programme assessed on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-570
Number of pages5
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint

Affective Symptoms
Drinking
Alcoholics
Alcohols
Imagination
Personality
Emotions
Outpatients
Population
Therapeutics

Cite this

Thorberg, F. A., Young, R. M., Sullivan, K. A., Lyvers, M., Hurst, C. P., Connor, J. P., & Feeney, G. F. X. (2011). Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample. Addiction Research and Theory, 19(6), 566-570. https://doi.org/10.3109/16066359.2011.580065
Thorberg, Fred Arne ; Young, Ross McDonald ; Sullivan, Karen A. ; Lyvers, Michael ; Hurst, Cameron P. ; Connor, Jason P. ; Feeney, Gerald F X. / Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample. In: Addiction Research and Theory. 2011 ; Vol. 19, No. 6. pp. 566-570.
@article{69ec4e27ca27404682c7eadb64cb4528,
title = "Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample",
abstract = "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. This study investigated the relationship between attachment and alexithymia in an alcohol-dependent population. Participants were 210 outpatients in a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment programme assessed on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale. 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.",
author = "Thorberg, {Fred Arne} and Young, {Ross McDonald} and Sullivan, {Karen A.} and Michael Lyvers and Hurst, {Cameron P.} and Connor, {Jason P.} and Feeney, {Gerald F X}",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
doi = "10.3109/16066359.2011.580065",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "566--570",
journal = "Addiction Research and Theory",
issn = "1476-7392",
publisher = "Informa Healthcare USA",
number = "6",

}

Thorberg, FA, Young, RM, Sullivan, KA, Lyvers, M, Hurst, CP, Connor, JP & Feeney, GFX 2011, 'Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample' Addiction Research and Theory, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 566-570. https://doi.org/10.3109/16066359.2011.580065

Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample. / Thorberg, Fred Arne; Young, Ross McDonald; Sullivan, Karen A.; Lyvers, Michael; Hurst, Cameron P.; Connor, Jason P.; Feeney, Gerald F X.

In: Addiction Research and Theory, Vol. 19, No. 6, 12.2011, p. 566-570.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attachment security and alexithymia in a heavy drinking sample

AU - Thorberg, Fred Arne

AU - Young, Ross McDonald

AU - Sullivan, Karen A.

AU - Lyvers, Michael

AU - Hurst, Cameron P.

AU - Connor, Jason P.

AU - Feeney, Gerald F X

PY - 2011/12

Y1 - 2011/12

N2 - 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. This study investigated the relationship between attachment and alexithymia in an alcohol-dependent population. Participants were 210 outpatients in a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment programme assessed on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale. 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.

AB - 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. This study investigated the relationship between attachment and alexithymia in an alcohol-dependent population. Participants were 210 outpatients in a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment programme assessed on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale. 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.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80054826517&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3109/16066359.2011.580065

DO - 10.3109/16066359.2011.580065

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 566

EP - 570

JO - Addiction Research and Theory

JF - Addiction Research and Theory

SN - 1476-7392

IS - 6

ER -