Association between attachment and schizotypy
Background: The human genome project has affirmed the importance of non-genetic factors in human development. Attachment style is considered to be a diathesis for psychopathology and an important determinant regarding interpersonal functioning. Epidemiological research has indicated that there is significant aetiological continuity between symptoms of schizotypy and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. Limited research has investigated the association between attachment and schizotypy. Aim: To investigate the predictive association between schizotypy and attachment styles, interpersonal functioning and depression within a stress-diathesis model of schizophrenia. Design and Methodology: A quantitative cross-sectional within group design using a clinical sample was employed. Hierarchical linear regressions and path models were computed to investigate the hypothesised predictive association between the variables. Main finding: The best predictor of schizotypy is understood in the context of an interaction between developmental vulnerability factors (attachment styles) and current stressors (level of interpersonal functioning). Depression mediated the impact of interpersonal functioning on schizotypy but was not a significant solo predictor of schizotypy. Discussion: The potential implications of the findings are discussed in regard to a dimensional stress diathesis model of schizophrenia. The robustness of the research design employed is discussed and suggestions for future research made.