Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Carol Stalker

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Secondary analyses were conducted on quantitative and qualitative data from a sample of survivors of childhood abuse (n = 208), enrolled in an in-patient trauma treatment program, to examine the clinical usefulness of the Reciprocal Attachment Questionnaire (RAQ) and the Avoidant Attachment Questionnaire (AAQ), (West & Sheldon-Keller, 1994) for this population. Participants who identified an attachment figure completed the RAQ and those who failed to identity an attachment figure completed the AAQ. The relationship between data derived from the attachment measures, and the outcome measures, perceived social support, abuse and demographic variables were examined. Although the RAQ and the AAQ can be used to distinguish individuals with different attachment strategies in this clinical population, an attachment measure that assesses individuals with and without an attachment figure in the same questionnaire would be more useful. This study provides additional empirical support for the notion that a significant proportion of adults with traumatic stress associated with childhood abuse cannot be classified into the usual attachment categories of secure, anxious or avoidant. Some appear to employ both anxious and avoidant strategies in their relationships with attachment figures. Implications for social work practice are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season