Together in pain: Attachment-related dyadic processes and posttraumatic stress disorder

T. Ein-Dor*, Guy Doron, Zahava Solomon, Mario Mikulincer, Phillip R. Shaver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used actor-partner interdependence modeling to explore associations among attachment-related dyadic processes, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in war veterans, and secondary traumatic stress (STS) in their wives. A sample of 157 Israeli couples (85 former prisoners of war and their wives and a comparison group of 72 veterans not held captive and their wives) completed self-report scales assessing attachment insecurities (anxiety, avoidance) and PTSD symptoms. For both groups of veterans and their wives, attachment anxiety was associated with the severity of their own and their spouses' PTSD and STS. Avoidant attachment was associated with PTSD and STS only in couples that included a former prisoner of war. A complex pattern of associations involving avoidant attachment was observed in the actor-partner analyses of these couples. The study demonstrates that attachment-related dyadic processes play a role in the development and maintenance of PTSD in traumatized veterans and STS in their wives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Adult attachment
  • Dyadic processes
  • Ex-POWs
  • PTSD
  • Secondary traumatic stress


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