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Abstract

This study used 239 twin pairs from a volunteer community sample to investigate how anxious and avoidant attachment are related to personality disorder (PD). Factor analysis showed that self-reported anxious attachment and 11 PD scales from the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Problems loaded onto one factor (emotional dysregulation), and avoidant attachment and four PD scales loaded onto a second factor (inhibitedness). Biometric models indicated that 40% of the variance in anxious attachment was heritable, and 63% of its association with corresponding PD dimensions was attributable to common genetic effects. Avoidant attachment was influenced by the shared environment instead of genes. Correlations between avoidance and corresponding PD dimensions were attributable to experiences in the nonshared environment that influenced both variables. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.