• Cristina Brocki Rosager
  • Julie Stein Rasmussen
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This master thesis seeks to explore the relationship between attachment and individual differences in adaption to single, interpersonal trauma in young adults (20-30 years of age) living with postmodern conditions. This is done theoretically. A range of theoretical perspectives are involved in the examination. Theory of trauma is presented based on the perspectives of Allen (2005), Levine (1998), Sørensen (2005), van der Kolk, McFarlane and Weisaeth (1996a) and Wennerberg (2011). To examine the role of attachment for adaption to trauma the constructs secure base, internal working models, mentalization, affect regulation and attachment style are introduced and described (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991; Bowlby, 1980; Fonagy, Gergely, Jurist & Target, 2007). To achieve an understanding of the conditions and challenges these individuals go through in this period of their development, theory of Erikson (1968) and sociological perspectives highlighting society in terms of risks (Beck, 2001; Giddens, 1991), trust (Jørgensen, 2012a; Svendsen, 2011) and competition (Pedersen, 2011) is presented.

By combining aspects of attachment, coping and social support it seems clear that attachment affects the individual’s ability to cope with the trauma and heal from it. The analysis suggests that attachment styles in complex ways complicates or supports the healing process, and secure attachment can be seen as a protective factor in relation to PTSD whereas insecure attachment (preoccupied, dismissing, fearful) can be seen as a risk factor. Mentalization errors, negative working models and higher reliance on maladaptive coping strategies make it difficult to regain safety and trust and to regulate affects, which all together inhibit the integration of trauma into the individual’s life history. Furthermore it seems that the developmental task of intimacy versus isolation will be affected by trauma. Trauma either highlights a solution or increases chances of choosing isolation, which is most likely in the case of insecurely attached individuals because of their higher reliance of avoidance coping. Overall it looks as if postmodern conditions, and the fact that trauma is found to destroy individuals normal strategies for handling risks, will add to the distress and possibly to symptoms of avoidance originally caused by the trauma, and make healing more difficult.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2012
Antal sider140
ID: 63446682