Author(s): Ponizovsky AM, Levov K, Schultz Y, Radomislensky I, Ponizovsky AM, Levov K, Schultz Y, Radomislensky I
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Abstract This study examined the adult attachment styles, interpersonal distance from potential attachment figures and strangers, coping strategies, perceived social support, and stress-related self-variables among patients diagnosed with adjustment disorders (AJD). Seventy patients at an outpatient clinic and 61 matched controls completed a battery of standardized questionnaires. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to evaluate the parameters of interest. Using attachment theory (J. Bowlby, 1988) and the dynamic stress-vulnerability model of depressive disorder (G. W. Brown & T. O. Harris, 1989) as the analytical frameworks, the authors hypothesized that participants with AJD would: (a) display more insecure attachment styles, (b) be less tolerant of close interpersonal proximity, (c) use more emotion-oriented coping strategies, (d) display lower self-efficacy and self-esteem, and (e) perceive less social support from family, friends, and significant others. We further hypothesized that these variables would be predictive of depressive symptoms. All of the hypotheses were confirmed. The results suggest that the insecure fearful-avoidant attachment style is associated with severe depressive symptoms in patients with AJD. However, other psychosocial factors, such as low self-esteem and poor social support from friends, were more predictive of AJD symptoms. The findings warrant further studies on the risk and protective effects of these factors in the development of AJD and other stress-induced disorders. © 2011 American Orthopsychiatric Association.
This article was published in Am J Orthopsychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry