PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: COPING AND ATTACHMENT
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In this study the role of two of the putative psychological factors behind the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), namely coping and attachment were studied based on their possible role in defending the organism against stress-induced diseases. The authors hypothesised that IBS patients were characterised by a changed profile of the attachment style, by disturbed early mother-infant relationship, and by a smaller frequency of the secure attachment style. In addition they suggested that these factors might be related to each other. Members of the 3 studied groups, i.e. IBS- and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and the healthy controls, respectively, filled out three questionnaires.: Anxiety Coping Preference Questionnaire, the mother-related part of the Parental Bonding Inventory (H-PBI), and the Hungarian version of the short form of the Relationship Questionnaire. According to the auuthors' results, the IBS group uses the problem-focused coping style, as well as the attention distraction and the emotion focus less while coping with anxiety, but does not show more maladaptive strategies than the healthy controls; in addition, this group reported more overprotective maternal behaviour as compared to their healthy peers. The healthy group, on the other hand, is better characterised by secure adult attachment than any of the patient groups. The hypothesis that there is a direct relationship between attachment and the applied coping style cannot be either reinforced or rejected.
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