Associations between adult attachment style and health risk behaviors in an adult female primary care population.
To examine the relationship between adult attachment style and health risk behaviors among adult women in a primary care setting.
In this analysis of a population of women enrolled in a large health maintenance organization (N=701), we examined the relationship between anxious and avoidant dimensions of adult attachment style and a variety of sexual, substance-related, and other health risk behaviors. After conducting descriptive statistics of the entire population, we determined the relationships between the two attachment dimensions and health behaviors using multiple regression analyses in which we controlled for demographic and socioeconomic factors.
After adjustment for covariates, the anxious dimension of attachment style was significantly associated with increased odds of self-report of having sex without knowing a partner's history, having multiple (≥2) male partners in the past year, and history of having a sexually transmitted infection (ORs [95% CIs]=1.11 [1.03, 1.20], 1.23 [1.04, 1.45]; and 1.17 [1.05, 1.30], respectively). The avoidant attachment dimension was associated with increased odds of being a smoker and not reporting regular seatbelt use (ORs [95% CIs]=1.15 [1.01, 1.30] and 1.16 [1.01, 1.33], respectively).
Both anxious and avoidant dimensions of attachment were associated with health risk behaviors in this study. This framework may be a useful tool to allow primary care clinicians to guide screening and intervention efforts.
Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Research Institute/University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceJournal of psychosomatic research 72:5 2012 May pg 364-70
Primary Health Care
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural