Autonomic correlates of attachment insecurity in a sample of women with eating disorders

Pedro Dias*, Isabel Soaresb, John Kleinc, João P.S. Cunhad, Glenn I. Roismane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined associations between attachment insecurity and autonomic response during the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) in a sample of 47 women with eating disorders using a new system for the synchronous acquisition of behavioral and physiological data: the Bio Dual-channel and Representation of Attachment Multimedia System (BioDReAMS; Soares, Cunha, Zhan Jian Li, Pinho, & Neves, 1998). Consistent with the emerging literature on the psychophysiology of adult attachment, insecurity was positively correlated with electrodermal reactivity during the AAI. Furthermore, relatively secure patients showed some evidence of parasympathetic withdrawal, which can be conceptualized as evidence of more effective emotion regulation. Results suggest that, even among women with diagnosed psychopathology, security is associated with more productive patterns of psychophysiological response to attachment-related challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Adult attachment interview
  • Autonomic correlates of attachment
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychophysiology


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