Poor Attachment Leads to Adult Anxiety Disorders

From API’s Publications Team

Adult anxietyA study to be published in the March issue of Behavior Therapy, “Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Connections with Self-Reported Attachment,” credits secure parent-child attachment in lessening the risk of that child eventually developing a severe anxiety disorder as an adult.

What the University of Maryland and Pennsylvania State researchers found was that adults with severe anxiety tended to report experiencing less maternal love in childhood, greater maternal rejection or neglect, and more maternal role-reversal than did adults without severe anxiety. In general, risk for anxiety in adults increased as did the severity of insecure attachment during childhood. Furthermore, adults with severe anxiety tended to report more unstable emotional relationships with their mothers now, and more difficulty remembering childhood experiences.

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