Drinking-To-Cope: Is Addiction an Attachment Disorder?




Armstrong, Megan

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The attachment system an individual develops is shaped in childhood by the bond between the child and their caregiver. When the caregiver’s support is inconsistent, the child may turn to outside means for coping with stressful situations. These early attachment experiences have been reported to play an important role in the manifestation of alcohol use disorder (Wedekind, at. al., 2013). Addiction to alcohol continues to be a focus of study and concern for clinical professionals and has a significant impact on society as a whole. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pattern of alcohol use in college students with disorganized attachment style, an attachment consisting of an unorganized state of mind with respect to relationships, in order to further understand the consequences this attachment style has into their adulthood. The study was conducted using an online survey including questions assessing disorganized attachment, alcohol dependence, and proactive coping skills. With the consideration that attachment styles is of significant importance in the diagnosis and therapy of alcohol addiction, treatment options are proposed to help place a stronger emphasis on repairing and forming attachments in disorganized individuals.



alcohol, addiction, attachment disorder, coping, disorganized attachment, Honors College


Armstrong, M. (2018). Drinking-to-cope: Is addiction an attachment disorder? (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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