University of Leicester
U124115.pdf (4.91 MB)
Download file

Adult attachment styles and childhood experiences of parenting of men diagnosed with personality disorder, detained in a high security psychiatric hospital : an exploratory study

Download (4.91 MB)
posted on 2014-12-15, 10:46 authored by Louise. Sainsbury
This study examined the relationships between retrospective recall of childhood experiences of parenting and abuse, and self report measures of adult attachment styles and personality disorder, in a sample of men diagnosed with personality disorder and detained in a high security psychiatric hospital for committing serious criminal offences.;The results found predominantly insecure attachment styles within this sample and an association between attachment anxiety and severity of personality disorder. Recalled repeated separations from attachment figures were related to severity of personality disorder. Specific characteristics of parenting and abuse were related to severity of attachment anxiety and avoidance in adult intimate relationships. Furthermore, greater attachment anxiety was found for participants with a history of sex offences against children, compared with participants who had committed violent non-sex offences.;These results suggest that adult attachment style may play a mediating role between childhood experiences and severity of personality disorder. These results provide further support for the applicability of attachment theory to the understanding of offending. The results highlight clinical implications for individuals therapy, ward interventions, patient selection and service organisation. In particular the interaction between staff attachment styles and effectiveness of interventions is discussed. This study suggests areas for future research including more detailed research of childhood experiences, attachment theory and personality disorder.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Clinical Psychology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses