Exploring Relationships between Adult Attachment, Spirituality and Personality Disorder Traits among Individuals in In-patient Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Gail Horton, Nealys Luna, Tammy Malloy


Both secure attachment style and higher levels of spirituality have been shown to be protective factors in the treatment of substance use disorders. However, very little is known about how either of these factors is related to personality disorder (PD) traits that are commonly co-morbid with substance use disorders. The purpose of this study was to explore the relative importance of spirituality (existential purpose/meaning in life and religious well-being) and attachment dimensions (attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety) as predictors of personality disorder trait levels among individuals receiving treatment for substance use disorders. Results showed that existential purpose and meaning in life was the best predictor of clinical/subclinical levels of borderline and antisocial PD traits and that attachment anxiety was the best predictor of clinical/subclinical levels of avoidant and dependent PD traits. None of the other PD traits was significantly associated with either attachment dimensions or spirituality dimensions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v3i1.8384


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