Date of Conferral







Neal McBride


Individuals from unfavorable environments tend to carry maladaptive patterns of attachment from infancy through adulthood. Empirically, these styles have been shown to be intergenerational. Substance use disorder has been linked to maladaptive patterns of attachment among adults. However, limited data exists regarding this phenomenon with African American and Black Caribbean males. Bowlby's attachment theory and Ainsworth's patterns of attachment were the theoretical frameworks applied to this quantitative study. The purpose was to determine the effect of ethnicity and alcohol use on anxious and avoidant attachment patterns among a sample of 151 adult males. Using the Experience in Close Relationship and two alcohol use measures, a (2x3) factorial MANOVA showed that the majority of participants reported secure attachment in romantic relationships with moderate alcohol use patterns. There were no significant differences between ethnicity and either attachment patterns, alcohol use and the attachment patterns, or ethnicity and alcohol use and the combined attachment patterns. However, future research using quantitative and qualitative approaches could capture a richer understanding of African American and Black Caribbean males and romantic attachments. The implications for positive social change include the significant benefit that can be derived from learning to create new internal working models. Clinicians working with African American and Black Caribbean males identified with insecure attachment can facilitate change in expected outcomes of interactions with others. Over time, these individuals could benefit from healthier, more adaptive attachment with others, including in romantic relationships.