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Attachment and Emotion Regulation among Adults with versus without Somatic Symptom Disorder

Authors: Natalia Constantinescu


This cross-sectional study aims to explore the differences among adults with somatic symptom disorder (SSD) versus adults without SSD, in terms of attachment and emotion regulation strategies. A total sample of 80 participants (40 people with SSD and 40 healthy controls), aged 20-57 years old (M = 31.69, SD = 10.55), were recruited from institutions and online groups. They completed the Romanian version of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale – Short Form (ECR-S), Regulation of Emotion Systems Survey (RESS), Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15) and Somatic Symptom Disorder – B Criteria Scale (SSD-12). The results indicate significant differences between the two groups in terms of attachment and emotion regulation strategies. Adults with SSD have a higher level of attachment anxiety and avoidance compared to the nonclinical group. Moreover, people with SSD are more prone to use rumination and suppression and less prone to use reevaluation compared to healthy people. Implications for SSD prevention and treatment are discussed.

Keywords: adult attachment, emotion regulation strategies, psychosomatic disorders, somatic symptom disorder

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