Attachment and personality disorders among child molesters: The role of trust

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Abstract

The present study investigated multivariate associations between attachment styles and personality disorders (PDs)—and the mediating role of trust—in a sample of child molesters (n = 84) and a matched control group from the general community (n = 80). Among child molesters, canonical correlation analysis revealed that two variates resembling avoidant and anxious attachment dimensions were associated with PD traits. Attachment avoidance was related to schizoid, schizotypal, and avoidant PDs, with a marginal contribution of antisocial PD. Attachment anxiety was related to borderline and histrionic PDs, with a marginal contribution of obsessive-compulsive PD. Paranoid and dependent PDs contributed to both variates. In the control group, a more general association between attachment insecurity and PDs emerged. Finally, mistrust significantly explained the associations between attachment and PDs in both samples. Future studies should examine whether treatment for PDs in child molesters could benefit from a focus on attachment and trust.
Keywords: attachment, personality disorders, trust, canonical correlation analysis, child molestation
LanguageEnglish
JournalSexual Abuse. A Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Compulsive Personality Disorder
Dependent Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder

Cite this

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abstract = "The present study investigated multivariate associations between attachment styles and personality disorders (PDs)—and the mediating role of trust—in a sample of child molesters (n = 84) and a matched control group from the general community (n = 80). Among child molesters, canonical correlation analysis revealed that two variates resembling avoidant and anxious attachment dimensions were associated with PD traits. Attachment avoidance was related to schizoid, schizotypal, and avoidant PDs, with a marginal contribution of antisocial PD. Attachment anxiety was related to borderline and histrionic PDs, with a marginal contribution of obsessive-compulsive PD. Paranoid and dependent PDs contributed to both variates. In the control group, a more general association between attachment insecurity and PDs emerged. Finally, mistrust significantly explained the associations between attachment and PDs in both samples. Future studies should examine whether treatment for PDs in child molesters could benefit from a focus on attachment and trust.Keywords: attachment, personality disorders, trust, canonical correlation analysis, child molestation",
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Attachment and personality disorders among child molesters : The role of trust. / Garofalo, C.; Bogaerts, S.

In: Sexual Abuse. A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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