Attachment orientations moderate the self-amplifying cycle of posttraumatic stress disorder and negative cognitions-a seven-year longitudinal study

Yafit Levin, Mario Mikulincer, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: We examined whether attachment orientations moderated the self-amplifying cycle of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and negative cognitions, decades after the trauma ended. Method: We sampled Israeli veterans from the 1973 Yom Kippur War and assessed PTSD severity and cognitions about the self and the world, twice-35 (T1) and 42 (T2) years after the war. At T1, we assessed participants' attachment orientations (anxiety, avoidance). Results: Findings provided support for a self-amplifying cycle of PTSD severity and negative cognitions about others' benevolence during the seven-year study period. Findings also indicated that this self-amplifying cycle was significant only among veterans who scored relatively high on attachment anxiety but not among those who had less anxious attachment. Attachment avoidance also moderated the prospective contribution of negative cognitions about the self and others to PTSD severity seven years later. Discussion: The psychological mechanisms underlying the observed effects of attachment orientations were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-544
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Longitudinal design
  • Negative conditions
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Trauma

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