Attachment organization in Vietnam combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Academic Article uri icon


  • Attachment organization in a combat-related PTSD sample was investigated and compared with previously published clinical and non-clinical samples. The association between insecure attachment and unresolved mourning classification (U-loss) and between U-loss and PTSD symptoms was investigated. Vietnam combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD and in treatment (N = 48) were administered the Adult Attachment Interview, the SCID-IV, and CAPS. The PTSD sample was like non-clinical samples in the incidence of secure attachment (50%), but were more commonly unresolved. Veterans with insecure attachment organizations were more likely than those with secure attachment to be classified U-loss. U-loss classification was associated with greater likelihood of comorbid anxiety disorders and PTSD avoidance/numbing symptoms. The results suggest that while insecure attachment organization is associated with unresolved mourning in response to loss, it is not differentially associated with combat-related PTSD. The relationship between U-loss and PTSD is discussed in light of current literature.

publication date

  • March 2008