Attachment and the transgenerational effects of loss, abuse and trauma: Exploring and testing classic ideas through historical analysis and developmental science (360G-Wellcome-208155_Z_17_Z)


Since it was introduced by John Bowlby, attachment research has been among the most influential paradigms for understanding the social underpinnings of infant mental health and transgenerational mental health. However, an odd artefact of the way a major research instrument was constructed in the 1980s by Mary Main has meant that to date attachment research has largely treated loss, abuse, and trauma as essentially equivalent, despite their very different clinical implications. A multidisciplinary approach will be used to investigate these concepts and examine potential differences. Work Package 1 will comprise a critical re-examination of the concepts of loss, abuse and trauma in the published and unpublished works by John Bowlby and Mary Main, exploring their reflections on how these experiences might impact parenting. In Work Package 2, hypotheses elaborated in Work Package 1 will be tested using Individual Participant Data pooled from 59 attachment studies, representing 4,542 families. Work Package 3 tests explanations for differential effects of unresolved loss, abuse and trauma on parenting and child development using longitudinal data from 400 mothers and children. The study will shed new light on transgenerational mental health processes, and insights will be disseminated to professionals and families.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 97935
Applicant Surname Bakkum
Approval Committee ERG10 Medical Humanities, Early Career Awards
Award Date 2017-05-02T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2016/17
Grant Programme: Title PhD Studentship in H&SS
Internal ID 208155/Z/17/Z
Lead Applicant Ms Lianne Bakkum
Partnership Value 97935
Planned Dates: End Date 2021-04-01T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2017-10-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region East of England
Sponsor(s) Prof Jonathan Mant