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Implications of adult attachment theory for chronic pain
journal contributionposted on 2019-03-12, 00:00 authored by Pamela Meredith
Pain is now well established as a biopsychosocial, multidimensionals phenomenon. According to the diathesis‐stress models of chronic pain, some individuals are more vulnerable to developing disability following acute pain because they possess particular psychosocial tendencies or personality traits, such as self‐defeating beliefs and behaviours, which interact with physical pathology with negative consequences. The literature, however, has been less specific about why some individuals are more prone than others to exhibiting these characteristics. Attachment theory, a theory of social and personality development, has been proposed as a comprehensive developmental model of pain and, in recent years, empirical evidence has supported this proposition. The present project combines the concepts of adult attachment theory with the diathesis–stress approach to chronic pain to propose the Attachment Diathesis Model of Chronic Pain (ADMoCP), in which insecure adult attachment represents a diathesis (or predisposition) for the development of, and adaptation to, chronic pain.