Coping with war captivity: The role of attachment style

Zahava Solomon*, Karni Ginzburg, Mario Mikulincer, Yuval Neria, Abraham Ohry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examines the implication of attachment style in both immediate coping and long-term adjustment of prisoners of war (POWs). 164-ex-POWs and 184 matched controls filled out a battery of questionnaires, 18 years after the war. They were questioned about their subjective experience of captivity, current mental health status, and characteristic attachment style. Secure individuals, who reported lower levels of suffering, less helplessness and more active coping during captivity, exhibited better long-term adjustment. Avoidant ex-POWs, who reported helplessness and hostility, and ambivalent individuals, who felt abandoned and vulnerable, reported long-term maladjustment. The role of attachment style as a stress-moderating resource is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-285
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


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