Expectant parents' representations of early attachment relationships: associations with mental health and family history.J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Feb; 70(1):195-204.JC
The association between adult representations of early attachment relationships and history of individual and family mental health was examined in a sample of 233 expectant mothers and fathers. As predicted, security of attachment was linked to mental health. Parents classified as Preoccupied were more likely than other parents to report suicidal ideation. Whereas parents classified as Unresolved more often reported suicidal ideation, emotional distress, and substance abuse. With respect to family history. Unresolved and Preoccupied attachment classifications were significantly related to child abuse involving a relative and parental separation or divorce. These findings support theoretical conceptualizations regarding the link between adult attachment and mental health in middle-class American adults.