Attachment style, psychotic phenomena and the relationship with aggression: an investigation in a general population sample
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Article publication date: 6 September 2018
Issue publication date: 31 January 2019
The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between attachment style, sub-clinical symptoms of psychosis and aggression in a general population sample.
Using both convenience and snowball sampling, participants in the community (n=213) completed an online questionnaire including previously validated measures of adult attachment, aggression and psychotic experiences.
Results suggested that there were statistically significant correlations between all study variables. Multiple linear regression demonstrated that total psychotic-like experiences and attachment scores significantly predicted variance in total aggression. Moderation approaches revealed that the relationship between psychotic-like events and aggression was stronger in individuals with more insecure attachment styles.
This generalisability of the results is compromised by the sampling methodology and the use of self-report tools. However, the significant results would support larger scale replications investigating similar variables.
This study suggests there is a relationship between psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) and facets of aggression in the general population. These results suggest that attachment is a contributing factor to aggression associated with PLEs, and highlight the need for similar investigations within clinical samples. The results imply that attachment may be a useful construct for explanatory models of the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, psychotic experiences and aggression.
Whale, K., Green, K. and Browne, K. (2019), "Attachment style, psychotic phenomena and the relationship with aggression: an investigation in a general population sample", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 47-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-04-2018-0356
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