An investigatory study of differences in adult substance dependency levels according to attachment style while taking other factors into account
No Thumbnail Available
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
Items in Esource are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the thus far unstudied relationship between attachment style and level of substance dependency in a sample of substance dependent adults and non-clinical controls in Ireland. In a cross-sectional between-groups design, 40 clients (male=26; female=14; mean age=30) of Merchants Quay Drug Services Project and 40 undergraduates (male=18; female=22; mean age 33) participated. A purpose-designed questionnaire, the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) and the Leeds Dependence Questionnaire (LDQ) (Raistrick et aI., 1994) were used. Predictor variables were attachment style, family structure, age of onset of alcohol/drug use and family history of substance dependence. The criterion variable was total LDQ score. Attachment style differed between service users and students (X2=24.786; df=3; p<0.001, two-tailed). Attachment style (F(1,67)=9.886; p<0.01), age of first alcohol use (F(1,67) 127.495; p<0.001), age of first drug use (F(1,67)=36.499; p<0.001) and interaction between family structure and family history of substance dependence (F(l ,67)=7.159; p<0.01) had significant main effects on LDQ levels. The results indicate that attachment theory provides a useful framework for understanding substance dependence, and generating clinically useful information with implications for the improvement of addiction prevention and treatment methods.