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Keywords:

  • death ideation;
  • attachment theory;
  • social adjustment;
  • interpersonal vulnerability

Abstract

The current study examined the interaction of attachment orientation and acute social maladjustment as risk factors for death ideation in a sample of women with Major Depression and histories of childhood sexual abuse. Social maladjustment was associated with greater endorsement of death ideation. Avoidant and anxious attachment orientations moderated the social maladjustment and death ideation associations in some domains. Work-related maladjustment was associated with greater odds of death ideation for those with higher attachment avoidance. Parent-role maladjustment was associated with greater odds of death ideation for those with lower attachment anxiety. Findings demonstrate strong associations between death ideation and social maladjustment, and suggest that death ideation may be specific to certain domains of adjustment for anxious and avoidant attachment styles. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 68:1–10, 2011.