Journal article

Dyadic Effects of Attachment on Mental Health: Couples in a Postdisaster Context

H Colin Gallagher, Dean Lusher, Lisa Gibbs, Philippa Pattison, David Forbes, Karen Block, Louise Harms, Colin MacDougall, Connie Kellett, Greg Ireton, Richard A Bryant



Research on mental health following disasters has led to the identification of many individual protective and risk factors for postdisaster mental health. However, there is little understanding of the exact influence that disasters have on the functioning of intimate relationships. Especially relevant are attachment styles, which are likely to play an important role in the provision and perception of social support between partners, and subsequent mental health outcomes. Heterosexual couples (N = 127) affected by the 2009 Victorian "Black Saturday" Bushfires in southeastern Australia were surveyed for disaster experiences, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, and attach..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP100200164), with additional support from the Australian Red Cross, Australian Rotary Health, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Centrelink, and the following primary care partnerships: Central West Gippsland, Bendigo Loddon, North East, Lower Hume, Central Hume, and Outer East Health and Community Support Alliance. Some of the ideas in this paper were presented in a partial and preliminary form at a research symposium for the Beyond Bushfires project in October 2014. The analyses presented herein have not been previously published or presented in any public format. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of participating individuals and communities, as well as those of John Richardson, Vikki Sinnott, Elyse Baker, Alana Pirrone, and Robyn Molyneaux. Dedicated to Professor Elizabeth Waters, whose leadership, vision, and vitality will long be remembered.