A story via Reuters reported on some new research that found a relationship between attachment style and risk for eating disorders. Essentially, folks with an insecure attachment style were more prone to low self-esteem and body image issues, which in turn can lead to eating disorders. This isn’t really surprising since insecure attachments have been implicated in a huge spectrum of negative psychological issues. However, attachment researchers are still waiting for their missing link (a study that can demonstrate a causal relationship between attachment and personality).
For those unfamiliar with attachment theory, you can find a ton of information here. The basics are that the style of the early attachment relationship to your primary caregiver is crucial in determining your personality, values, and pychological health. Securely attached children use their caregiver as a base to explore the world, and have a high trust in themselves and others. This is generally fostered by a caregiver who skillfully attends to the needs of the child. The three major insecure styles (dismissing/avoidant, preoccupied/resistant, fearful/disorganized) all have more undesirable qualities that theoretically lead to negative psychological states in adulthood. Despite the difficulty in researching the causal elements, the theory has been around forever for a reason.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Jun 2006
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Meek, W. (2006). Insecure Attachment & Eating Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/06/16/insecure-attachment-eating-disorders/