Attachment styles, mental health, and trauma during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in an Italian adult population

Submitted: February 23, 2023
Accepted: December 4, 2023
Published: December 31, 2023
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The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted adults’ mental health around the world. Various studies highlighted the role of sociodemographic risk factors, including age, gender, and level of education, in increasing this impact. Although insecure attachment styles are considered a vulnerability factor for psychopathology and difficulties in coping with stressful situations, few studies have examined the role of attachment styles in relation to psychological responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to investigate the role of attachment styles in affecting psychopathological problems and post-traumatic symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of Italian adults (N=1548). During the first lockdown in Italy, the Attachment Style Questionnaire, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and Symptom Checklist 90-Revised were administered to the participants to assess attachment styles, trauma-related symptoms, and psychopathological problems. The results showed that 41% of the participants had symptoms of clinical and subclinical relevance during the pandemic. Anxious and avoidant insecure attachment styles predicted psychopathological problems and post-traumatic symptoms, whereas secure attachment style was a protective factor. Our results highlighted the significant role played by the quality of attachment styles on adult mental health during the pandemic, providing valuable elements for targeted psychological support interventions.

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How to Cite

Ierardi, E., Bottini, M., Preti, E., Di Pierro, R., Madeddu, F., & Riva Crugnola, C. (2023). Attachment styles, mental health, and trauma during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in an Italian adult population. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2023.689

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