Intertwined associations among attachment styles, emotional dysregulation, and ADHD: examining unique associations with general risk-taking behavior

Hattem Asadi*, Rachel Shoham, Yehuda Pollak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attachment insecurity, emotional dysregulation, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have all been implicated across the literature with various forms of negative life outcomes and increased risk-taking behavior (RTB). Furthermore, abundant research has demonstrated that the three seem to go together. Given these intercorrelations, it is unclear if any of them possess exclusive links with RTB independent of the others across multiple life domains. The present study examined the relations among attachment styles, emotional dysregulation, ADHD symptoms, and hypothetical RTBs across multiple real-life domains. Including a total of 155 mostly undergraduate students, we found in the main analysis that only ADHD symptoms were associated with RTB over and above all other variables. Specifically, the links between both attachment insecurity and emotional dysregulation with RTB disappeared when ADHD symptoms were included in the final model, but not vice versa. An exploratory analysis suggested that attachment insecurity was linked to romantic/sexual RTB over and above the others. These results further substantiate the link between ADHD symptoms and a general propensity for RTB and demonstrate that the link between the two seems to be inherent to the disorder and independent of its co-occurrence with attachment insecurity and emotional dysregulation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)957-968
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Volume128
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Attachment insecurity
  • Attachment styles
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Risky behavior

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