Further evidence for a relationship between attachment insecurity and coercive sexual behavior in nonoffenders

Stephen W. Smallbone, Mark R. Dadds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To replicate and extend the findings of a previous study examining attachment insecurity and coercive sexual behavior in nonoffenders, a new cohort of 119 male undergraduate students completed self-report measures of childhood maternal and paternal attachment, adult attachment, antisociality, aggression, and coercive sexual behavior. Consistent with earlier findings, insecure childhood attachment was significantly associated with coercive sexual behavior, accounting for an additional (although nonsignificant) proportion of variance after antisociality and aggression were statistically controlled. In contrast with earlier findings, maternal avoidant attachment rather than paternal avoidant attachment emerged as an important predictor of coercive sexual behavior. Examination of more specific aspects of childhood attachment revealed that insecure patterns of both maternal and paternal attachment were associated with coercive sexual behavior independently ofaggression and antisociality. Adult attachment avoidance was found to be associated with coercive sexual behavior, and adult attachment anxiety was found to be associated with antisociality and aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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