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

The role of reflective functioning in mediating the relationship between attachment style and psychopathology

Ghossain, D; (2014) The role of reflective functioning in mediating the relationship between attachment style and psychopathology. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
DG Thesis Volume I.pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (3MB)

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the association between attachment style and mentalizing ability and the extent to which the two are predictive of psychopathology. It is a joint thesis with Dissociative symptoms and the quality of structural integration in BPD (Sole, 2014). Part 1, the literature review, examines the evidence for an association between attachment style and mentalizing ability. Twelve studies represent a small but compelling body of research evidencing a robust link between parents’ ability to mentalize and infant attachment style. However, the evidence varies greatly due to differences in how variables, particularly those relating to mentalizing, have been operationalised, e.g. through direct observation of infant-caregiver behaviour or by recording caregivers' representations of their mentalizing abilities. Moreover, mentalizing alone does not fully account for the intergenerational transmission of attachment. Part 2, the empirical paper, describes a study investigating the role of reflective functioning in mediating the association between attachment style and psychopathology, and examining the scale reliability and criterion validity of a new measure of structural integration, the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis Structure Questionnaire (OPD-SQ). A group of participants with a diagnosis of personality disorder (N = 80) were compared to a group of healthy controls (N = 85) on attachment style, reflective functioning, structural integration and psychopathology. Group comparisons showed unexpected findings for reflective functioning and attachment style. Reflective functioning was shown to mediate attachment-related differences in psychopathology in the total and non-clinical samples only. Part 3, the critical appraisal, reflects on the process and impact on the researcher of conducting the research. It comprises a discussion of my motivation for conducting research in this area, my reflection on the current state of research into the relationship between attachment and mentalizing, methodological issues relating to the operationalisation of the mentalizing construct, and ethical considerations relating to the interviewing of participants.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: The role of reflective functioning in mediating the relationship between attachment style and psychopathology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Attachment, reflective functioning, mentalization, mentalizing, Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis System, Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis Structure Questionnaire, OPD, OPD-SQ, personality disorder, psychopathology.
UCL classification: 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1449075
Downloads since deposit
1,522Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item