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Attachment style, psychotic phenomena and the relationship with aggression: investigation in a general population sample

Whale, Katherine; Green, Kathleen; Browne, Kevin


Katherine Whale

Kathleen Green

Professor of Forensic Psychology and Child Health


Purpose: This study aimed to explore the relationship between attachment style, sub-clinical symptoms of psychosis and aggression in a general population sample.
Design: Using both convenience and snowball sampling, participants in the community (n=213) completed an online questionnaire including previously validated measures of adult attachment, aggression and psychotic like events.
Findings: Results suggested that there were statistically significant correlations between all study variables. Multiple linear regression demonstrated that total psychotic-like experiences and attachment scores significantly predicted variance in total aggression. Moderation approaches revealed that the relationship between psychotic-like events and aggression was stronger in individuals with more insecure attachment styles.
Research limitations/implications: This generalisability of the results is compromised by the sampling methodology and the use of self-report tools. However, the significant results would support larger scale replications investigating similar variables.
Originality/value: This study suggests there is a relationship between psychotic like experiences and facets of aggression in the general population. The findings suggest that attachment is a contributing factor to aggression associated with psychotic like experiences, and highlight the need for similar investigations within clinical samples. The results imply that attachment may be a useful construct for explanatory models of the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, psychotic experiences and aggression.


Whale, K., Green, K., & Browne, K. (2019). Attachment style, psychotic phenomena and the relationship with aggression: investigation in a general population sample. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 11(1), 47-58.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 19, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Aug 24, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2018
Journal Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Print ISSN 1759-6599
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 47-58
Keywords Risk, Aggression, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Attachment, Trauma
Public URL
Publisher URL


Final Submission - Attachment Style Sub-clinical Symptoms Of Psychosis And Aggression In A General Population Sample (458 Kb)

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