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Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2015;61(4):370-83. doi: 10.13109/zptm.2015.61.4.370.

[Attachment and psychosomatic health among Catholic pastoral professionals].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Hochschule für Philosophie, München.
2
Klinik und Poliklinik für Palliativmedizin, Universitätsklinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
3
Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Forschungsstelle Spiritual Care, Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München.
4
Institut für Psychologie, Universität Innsbruck, Österreich.
5
International Psychoanalytic University, Berlin.
6
Theologische Fakultät, Arbeitsbereich Caritaswissenschaften, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The study examines attachment representations and psychosomatic symptoms of Catholic priests and other pastoral professionals in Germany.

METHOD:

We conducted structured biographical interviews with 83 Catholic pastoral professionals (47 priests, 36 lay pastoral workers). Attachment representations were diagnosed by use of the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP). Psychosomatic health data (Brief Symptom Inventory - BSI-18) were taken from the associated German Pastoral Ministry Study.

RESULTS:

In the sample, the proportion of secure attachment representations was 23%, of insecure- dismissing 39%, of insecure-preoccupied 18% and of unresolved attachment status 21%. Individuals with secure attachment representation were associated with lower values of psychosomatic stress, while individuals with insecure-dismissing and unresolved attachment status had higher values.

DISCUSSION:

The amount of insecure attachment representations and psychosomatic symptoms is higher than in data from the healthy samples, especially in the cohorts between 1933 and 1945. Data from biographical interviews indicate the significant role of institutional attachment to the Church, in many cases possibly compensating for dysfunctional parental relationships in personal history.

KEYWORDS:

Attachment; Attachment Representations; Attachment Theory; Catholic Church; Pastoral Workers; Priests; Psychosomatic Symptoms; Psychosomatics; War Children

PMID:
26646915
DOI:
10.13109/zptm.2015.61.4.370
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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