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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003 Jan;191(1):30-7.

Personality disorders and adult attachment dimensions in a mixed psychiatric sample: a multivariate study.

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  • 1Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milano, Italy.


The associations between personality disorders and adult attachment dimensions were assessed in a sample of 487 consecutively admitted psychiatric subjects. Canonical correlation analysis showed that two sets of moderately correlated canonical variates explained the correlations between personality disorders and adult attachment patterns. The first and second attachment variates closely resembled the avoidance and anxiety attachment dimensions, respectively. The first personality disorder variate was mainly characterized by avoidant, depressive, paranoid, and schizotypal personality disorders, whereas dependent, histrionic, and borderline personality disorders loaded on the second canonical variate. However, these linear combinations of personality disorders were different from those obtained from principal component analysis. The results extend previous studies linking personality disorders and attachment patterns and suggest the importance of focusing on specific constellations of symptoms associated with dimensions of insecurity.

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