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Adult Attachment

they rely less on “maladaptive, self-blaming defense techniques” than the avoidant or anxious individuals. These internal resources could lead to lower stress levels.   

The second study focused on a broader range of health issues including psychological health. Using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to assess the subjects’ mental health and a scale of general health questions (coughing, headaches, etc.), they found a significant difference among the attachment styles. Secure individuals have lower scores on the GHQ-12, and anxious individuals have higher. Avoidant individuals were not significant. They found no significant values for the physical health-related questionnaire. This could be an effect of the sample. It is obvious that less stress-coping mechanisms and higher levels of mental distress must have physical effects, whether it is headaches or stomach ulcers. Stress has physiological symptoms. Attachment style must effect physical health indirectly.

Most studies focus on the effects of attachment style on different aspects of life. There has been little to no research done on the effects of life events on attachment style. Attachment style has been shown to change with relationship status, but what about other life stressors? Could events like parental divorce, death, or moving away affect attachment bonds? These circumstances could change the way a person thinks or feels about themselves or others. This should also affect the level of trust and intimacy a person is comfortable with in a relationship. Attachments may suffer or strengthen. More research needs to be done to clarify what effects, if any, sudden stressful events can have on attachment.

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