Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Jennifer Tippett, Psy.D.
Laurie Ivey, Psy.D.
Bradley McMillan, Ph.D.
Adverse childhood experiences, Substance use disorders, Attachment theory, Developmental trauma, Relational trauma
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Research shows a correlation exists between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and poor mental health such as psychiatric and substance use disorders (Adshead, 2018). Research further suggests a correlation between ACEs and insecure attachment in adults (Adshead, 2018). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020) estimates 85% of the correctional population either has a substance use disorder or was incarcerated for a drug-related offense. This paper theorizes that those involved in the correctional system with a history of high ACE scores and substance use also experience insecure attachment, which is not currently addressed in correctional SUD programs. Attachment theory moderates the relationship between ACEs and substance use disorders (SUDs). Treatment interventions should be targeted at the insecure attachment present in correctional populations. This paper postulates that successful treatment of attachment concerns will decrease substance use, and future research considerations are discussed.
Mendoza, Samantha, "Attachment Theory to Inform Intervention in Correctional Populations with Adverse Childhood Experiences and Substance Use Disorders" (2022). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 461.
Theoretical Analysis and Synthesis
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