UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Psychophysiological responses underlying unresolved loss and trauma in the Adult Attachment Interview

Bakkum, L; Oosterman, M; Verhage, ML; Kunseler, FC; Fearon, RMP; Schuengel, C; Duschinsky, R; (2020) Psychophysiological responses underlying unresolved loss and trauma in the Adult Attachment Interview. Development and Psychopathology pp. 1-16. 10.1017/s0954579420001492. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of Fearon_adult-attachment-interview.pdf]
Preview
Text
Fearon_adult-attachment-interview.pdf - Published Version

Download (527kB) | Preview

Abstract

Unresolved loss/trauma in the context of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) has been theorised to result from dissociative processing of fear-related memories and ideas. To examine the plausibility of this model, this study tested hypothesised associations between unresolved loss/trauma and indicators of autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity. First-time pregnant women (<jats:italic>N</jats:italic> = 235) participated in the AAI while heart rate (interbeat interval; IBI) and indicators of parasympathetic reactivity (respiratory sinus arrhythmia; RSA) and sympathetic reactivity (pre-ejection period; PEP, skin conductance level; SCL) were recorded. Using multilevel modelling, ANS reactivity was examined in relation to topic (loss/trauma versus other questions); discussion of actual loss/trauma; classification of unresolved/disorganised; and unresolved responses during the interview. Responses to loss/trauma questions and discussion of loss were associated with respectively larger and smaller IBIs. There was no moderation by unresolved/disorganised status. Unresolved responses about loss were associated with smaller IBIs. Participants classified as unresolved/disorganised showed decreasing PEP and blunted SCL throughout the whole interview. The findings suggest that unresolved speech about loss co-occurs with physiological arousal, although the inconclusive findings regarding parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system responses fail to clearly support the role of fear.

Type: Article
Title: Psychophysiological responses underlying unresolved loss and trauma in the Adult Attachment Interview
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/s0954579420001492
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954579420001492
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: adult attachment, autonomic nervous system reactivity, loss, childhood abuse, trauma recall
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121945
Downloads since deposit
27Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item