Insecure attachment style as a vulnerability factor for depression: Recent findings in a community-based study of Malay single and married mothers

Nor Ba`Yah Abdul Kadir, Antonia Bifulco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of marital breakdown in women's mental health is of key concern in Malaysia and internationally. A cross-sectional questionnaire study of married and separated/divorced and widowed women examined insecure attachment style as an associated risk factor for depression among 1002 mothers in an urban community in Malaysia. A previous report replicated a UK-based vulnerability-provoking agent model of depression involving negative evaluation of self (NES) and negative elements in close relationships (NECRs) interacting with severe life events to model depression. This article reports on the additional contribution of insecure attachment style to the model using the Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ). The results showed that VASQ scores were highly correlated with NES, NECR and depression. A multiple regression analysis of depression with backward elimination found that VASQ scores had a significant additional effect. Group comparisons showed different risk patterns for single and married mothers. NES was the strongest risk factor for both groups, with the 'anxious style' subset of the VASQ being the best additional predictor for married mothers and the total VASQ score (general attachment insecurity) for single mothers. The findings indicate that attachment insecurity adds to a psychosocial vulnerability model of depression among mothers cross-culturally and is important in understanding and identifying risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-924
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume210
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2013

Fingerprint

Mothers
Depression
Malaysia
Widowhood
Divorce
Women's Health
Surveys and Questionnaires
Mental Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Regression Analysis

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Marital breakdown
  • Mental health
  • Self-esteem
  • Social disadvantage
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

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