Adult attachment as a predictor and moderator of psychotherapy outcome: A meta-analysis

Kenneth Levy, Yogev Kivity, Benjamin N. Johnson, Caroline V. Gooch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bowlby’s attachment theory describes characteristic patterns of relating to close others and has important implications for psychotherapy. Attachment patterns have been characterized as secure (healthy interdependence with others), anxious (overdependence on others), and avoidant (difficulty relying on others). We update a previous meta-analysis to determine the association of patient attachment with psychotherapy outcome. Meta-analysis of 36 studies (3,158 patients) suggested that patients with secure attachment pretreatment show better psychotherapy outcome than insecurely attached patients. Further, improvements in attachment security during therapy may coincide with better treatment outcome. Finally, preliminary moderator analyses suggest that those who experience low pretreatment attachment security may find better treatment outcome in therapy that incorporates a focus on interpersonal interactions and close relationships. The article closes with research limitations, diversity considerations, and therapeutic practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1996-2013
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume74
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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Psychotherapy
Meta-Analysis
Therapeutics
Predictors
Meta-analysis
Research
Pretreatment
Treatment Outcome
Therapy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

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Adult attachment as a predictor and moderator of psychotherapy outcome : A meta-analysis. / Levy, Kenneth; Kivity, Yogev; Johnson, Benjamin N.; Gooch, Caroline V.

In: Journal of clinical psychology, Vol. 74, No. 11, 01.11.2018, p. 1996-2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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