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Patricia Loun


Prescription pain medication abuse is a developing social problem in the United States. This quantitative study, grounded in attachment theory, examined relationships between attachment, perceived social support, and relapse. It was hypothesized that significant relationships existed between (a) attachment dimensions and relapse and (b) perceived social support and relapse. A further hypothesis was that perceived social support was a mediator in the relationship between attachment and relapse. Participants were 69 adult females, each of whom completed a demographic questionnaire; the Advanced Warning of Relapse (AWARE) Questionnaire; the Experiences in Close Relationships, Revised (ECR-R); and the Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ). A multiple linear regression was conducted to determine relationships between attachment and perceived social support on relapse. A mediation analysis was conducted to determine whether perceived social support was a mediator between attachment and relapse. Results identified that women with anxious styles of attachment have higher relapse potential and that women with higher levels of perceived social support appeared to have decreased attachment anxiety. Results indicated that women with increased attachment anxiety who also reported higher levels of perceived social support showed a reduced potential to relapse. This research contributes to positive social change by confirming the importance for health professionals to incorporate both attachment theory and the role of social support into treatment modalities to prevent relapse and to increase public awareness about these psychological factors of prescription pain medication addiction.

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