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LITERATURE REVIEW
         OF
TEN RESEARCH STUDIES

IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN
     ATTACHMENT DISORDERS
              AND
         PSYCHOPATHY?
DEFINITIONS
Psychopathy: “a personality disorder
              characterized by a constellation
              of traits including interpersonal
              affective features and antisocial
              features” (Gao, Raine, Chan,
              Venables, & Mednick, 2010).
Attachment Disorder: Demonstrated by an
              inability to have close
              relationships.
Definitions continued
Reflective Functioning: An ability to see and
     think about mental states in oneself and
     others (Bouchard, et al. 2008).
Research Study
           #1
by Becker-Weidman, 2009

Effects of Early Maltreatment on
Development: A Descriptive Study
using the Vineland Adaptive Scales II
Effects of Early Maltreatment on
            Development
Determined that adopted and
foster children showed a lower
average developmental age (4.4
years vs actual average age of 9.9
years), and that there is a higher
prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress
Disorder with this population
Challenges with this Study
Small sample size
Participants already identified as at-risk
Results gained from self-reports
Research Study
              #2
Abrams, Rifkin, & Hesse, 2009.
 Examining the Rule of Parental
 Frightened/Frightening Subtypes in
 Predicting Disorganized Attachment
 within a Brief Observational Procedure.
Examining the Role of Parental
 Frightened/Frightening Subtypes in
 Predicting Disorganized Attachment
Showed that dissociative
problems among mothers
have children with a higher
level of disorganizational
attachment.
Challenges with this Study
Participants were psychology students
Sample made up of mostly Caucasians
Results from self-reports
Research Study
          #3
  Bouchard, et al. 2008

 Mentalization in Adult Attachment
 Narratives: Reflective Functioning,
Mental States, and Affect Elaboration
             Compared
Mentalization in Adult Attachment
             Narratives
Proved that mothers with
low reflective functioning
had a correlation with
children with Axis I and Axis
II diagnoses.
Challenges with this Study
Small sample size
Participants identified as at-risk
Participants were psychology students
Sample largely Caucasian
Results from self-reports
Research Study
             #4
  Doron, Moulding, Kyrios,
Nedeljkovik, Mikulincer, 2009
 Adult Attachment Insecurities are
 Related to Obsessive Compulsive
            Phenomena
Adult Attachment Insecurities

Demonstrated that there is a
correlation between
Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder and avoidant and
anxious attachment styles.
Challenges with the Study
Participants were psychology students
Sample largely Caucasian
Results from self-reports
Early attachment styles not measured
Research Study
             #5
Gao, Raine, Chan, Venables, &
       Mednick, 2010

Early Maternal and Paternal Bonding,
Childhood Physical Abuse, and Adult
      Psychological Functioning
Early Maternal and Paternal Bonding

Found that psychopathy
scores were higher
among those who had
experienced a lack of
attachment.
Challenges with this Study
Unable to distinguish between genetic
     influences and social experiences.
Results from self-reports
Research Study
             #6
Johnson, Lui, & Cohen, 2011

 Parenting Behaviours Associated with
   the Development of Adaptive and
  Maladaptive Offspring Personality
                Traits.
Parenting Behaviours

Discovered that paternal
bonding is important in
healthy childrearing, and
that behavior modification
in parents leads to healthier
children.
Challenges with this Study
Results from self-reports
Fathers not directly interviewed, mothers
     provided the information required for the
     study.
Research Study
               #7
Wei, Vogel, Tsun- Yao, & Zakalik,
              2005
     Adult Attachment, Affect Regulation,
       Negative Mood, and Interpersonal
  Problems: The Mediating Roles of Emotional
        Reactivity and Emotional Cutoff.
Adult Attachment, Affect Regulation,
 Negative Mood, and Interpersonal
             Problems
At-risk mothers have a lower
level of self-confidence
about child-rearing, which
leads to depression in the
mother and poor bonding
with infants.
Challenges with this Study
Results from self-reports
Few participants from ethnic minority groups
Participants were students
Most participants were female
Research Study
              #8
Wei, Heppner, Russell, & Young,
            2008
     Maladaptive Perfectionism and
    Ineffective Coping as Mediators
    between Attachment and Future
              Depression.
Maladaptive Perfectionism and
  Ineffective Coping as Mediators

Explored the possibility of
attachment styles being
mediating factors in
future mental health
challenges.
Challenges with this Study
Results are from self-reports
Participants young, Caucasian students
Research Study
           #9
    Lopez & Hsu, 2002

Further Validation of a Measure of
 Parent-Adult Attachment Style.
Further Validation of a Measure of
    Parent-Adult Attachment Style
While studying parent-adult
attachment styles, these researchers
found that most had a healthy
attachment style. Those who had
attachment difficulties with only one
parent, showed the same amount of
maladaptive behavior as those who
had difficulties with both parents.
Challenges with this Study
Results from self-reports
Gender imbalance
Participants were students from a single college
Students from divorced/separated families were
      overrepresented
Small sample size
Research Study
              #10
Mikulincer, Ein-Dor, Solomon &
         Shaver, 2011
Trajectories of Attachment Insecurities over
  a 17-Year Period: A Latent Growth Curve
Analysis of the Impact of War Captivity and
       Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Trajectories of Attachment
This study researched the effects on
prisoners of war and attachment style
and posttraumatic stress disorder. The
control group was made up of those
soldiers who had not been captured.
The POWs showed an increased
disturbance of attachment styles and
PTSD.
Challenges with this Study
Results from self-reports
Results were not taken either before or
     immediately after war
Future Research Opportunities
Use larger, more diverse samplings
Research specific definition of Attachment
      Disorders
Discern specific causes of Attachment Disorders
Develop observational testing to back up self-
      reports
Research those who are not already at-risk

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Literature review

  • 1. LITERATURE REVIEW OF TEN RESEARCH STUDIES IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ATTACHMENT DISORDERS AND PSYCHOPATHY?
  • 2. DEFINITIONS Psychopathy: “a personality disorder characterized by a constellation of traits including interpersonal affective features and antisocial features” (Gao, Raine, Chan, Venables, & Mednick, 2010). Attachment Disorder: Demonstrated by an inability to have close relationships.
  • 3. Definitions continued Reflective Functioning: An ability to see and think about mental states in oneself and others (Bouchard, et al. 2008).
  • 4. Research Study #1 by Becker-Weidman, 2009 Effects of Early Maltreatment on Development: A Descriptive Study using the Vineland Adaptive Scales II
  • 5. Effects of Early Maltreatment on Development Determined that adopted and foster children showed a lower average developmental age (4.4 years vs actual average age of 9.9 years), and that there is a higher prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with this population
  • 6. Challenges with this Study Small sample size Participants already identified as at-risk Results gained from self-reports
  • 7. Research Study #2 Abrams, Rifkin, & Hesse, 2009. Examining the Rule of Parental Frightened/Frightening Subtypes in Predicting Disorganized Attachment within a Brief Observational Procedure.
  • 8. Examining the Role of Parental Frightened/Frightening Subtypes in Predicting Disorganized Attachment Showed that dissociative problems among mothers have children with a higher level of disorganizational attachment.
  • 9. Challenges with this Study Participants were psychology students Sample made up of mostly Caucasians Results from self-reports
  • 10. Research Study #3 Bouchard, et al. 2008 Mentalization in Adult Attachment Narratives: Reflective Functioning, Mental States, and Affect Elaboration Compared
  • 11. Mentalization in Adult Attachment Narratives Proved that mothers with low reflective functioning had a correlation with children with Axis I and Axis II diagnoses.
  • 12. Challenges with this Study Small sample size Participants identified as at-risk Participants were psychology students Sample largely Caucasian Results from self-reports
  • 13. Research Study #4 Doron, Moulding, Kyrios, Nedeljkovik, Mikulincer, 2009 Adult Attachment Insecurities are Related to Obsessive Compulsive Phenomena
  • 14. Adult Attachment Insecurities Demonstrated that there is a correlation between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and avoidant and anxious attachment styles.
  • 15. Challenges with the Study Participants were psychology students Sample largely Caucasian Results from self-reports Early attachment styles not measured
  • 16. Research Study #5 Gao, Raine, Chan, Venables, & Mednick, 2010 Early Maternal and Paternal Bonding, Childhood Physical Abuse, and Adult Psychological Functioning
  • 17. Early Maternal and Paternal Bonding Found that psychopathy scores were higher among those who had experienced a lack of attachment.
  • 18. Challenges with this Study Unable to distinguish between genetic influences and social experiences. Results from self-reports
  • 19. Research Study #6 Johnson, Lui, & Cohen, 2011 Parenting Behaviours Associated with the Development of Adaptive and Maladaptive Offspring Personality Traits.
  • 20. Parenting Behaviours Discovered that paternal bonding is important in healthy childrearing, and that behavior modification in parents leads to healthier children.
  • 21. Challenges with this Study Results from self-reports Fathers not directly interviewed, mothers provided the information required for the study.
  • 22. Research Study #7 Wei, Vogel, Tsun- Yao, & Zakalik, 2005 Adult Attachment, Affect Regulation, Negative Mood, and Interpersonal Problems: The Mediating Roles of Emotional Reactivity and Emotional Cutoff.
  • 23. Adult Attachment, Affect Regulation, Negative Mood, and Interpersonal Problems At-risk mothers have a lower level of self-confidence about child-rearing, which leads to depression in the mother and poor bonding with infants.
  • 24. Challenges with this Study Results from self-reports Few participants from ethnic minority groups Participants were students Most participants were female
  • 25. Research Study #8 Wei, Heppner, Russell, & Young, 2008 Maladaptive Perfectionism and Ineffective Coping as Mediators between Attachment and Future Depression.
  • 26. Maladaptive Perfectionism and Ineffective Coping as Mediators Explored the possibility of attachment styles being mediating factors in future mental health challenges.
  • 27. Challenges with this Study Results are from self-reports Participants young, Caucasian students
  • 28. Research Study #9 Lopez & Hsu, 2002 Further Validation of a Measure of Parent-Adult Attachment Style.
  • 29. Further Validation of a Measure of Parent-Adult Attachment Style While studying parent-adult attachment styles, these researchers found that most had a healthy attachment style. Those who had attachment difficulties with only one parent, showed the same amount of maladaptive behavior as those who had difficulties with both parents.
  • 30. Challenges with this Study Results from self-reports Gender imbalance Participants were students from a single college Students from divorced/separated families were overrepresented Small sample size
  • 31. Research Study #10 Mikulincer, Ein-Dor, Solomon & Shaver, 2011 Trajectories of Attachment Insecurities over a 17-Year Period: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis of the Impact of War Captivity and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
  • 32. Trajectories of Attachment This study researched the effects on prisoners of war and attachment style and posttraumatic stress disorder. The control group was made up of those soldiers who had not been captured. The POWs showed an increased disturbance of attachment styles and PTSD.
  • 33. Challenges with this Study Results from self-reports Results were not taken either before or immediately after war
  • 34. Future Research Opportunities Use larger, more diverse samplings Research specific definition of Attachment Disorders Discern specific causes of Attachment Disorders Develop observational testing to back up self- reports Research those who are not already at-risk