Author(s): Troisi A, Massaroni P, Cuzzolaro M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To ascertain whether women with eating disorders have a higher frequency of separation anxiety symptoms in childhood, and a higher prevalence of insecure styles of adult attachment, compared with healthy women. METHODS: The Separation Anxiety Symptom Inventory (SASI) and the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) were administered to 78 women with eating disorders and 64 healthy women. RESULTS: Compared with control women, women with eating disorders reported more severe symptoms of separation anxiety during childhood, and scored higher on the ASQ scales, reflecting insecure styles of adult attachment. Early separation anxiety and insecure attachment were not correlated with age of onset or illness duration. The diagnostic subgroup was not associated with a specific style of insecure attachment: compared with control women, both anorexic and bulimic women scored higher on the ASQ scales reflecting anxious attachment, but not on the scales reflecting avoidant attachment. CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm the link between eating disorders and insecure attachment that has been found in previous studies, and extend it to childhood symptoms of separation anxiety.
This article was published in Br J Clin Psychol
and referenced in Advances in Robotics & Automation