Attachment and the Body in Suicidal Adolescents: A Pilot Study
There is a relative dearth of studies in the field of adolescent attachment despite the potential impact of such developmental changes on the organization of attachment systems. This omission is even more acute among clinical populations, although adolescence is notable for dramatic increases in specific psychopathologies, e.g. eating disorders, delinquency, and suicide and self-harm. This article attempts to address the shortfall using a mixed quantitative/qualitative research design. First, it examines the association between attachment styles and suicidality by comparing two groups of adolescent participants attending a psychotherapy clinic. Second, it explores the phenomenology of different presentations of suicidality in adolescence from a psychodynamically informed attachment theory perspective. The clinical and research implications from these findings are discussed.