The current study investigated the impact of victimization on substance use treatment motivation and the potential role of adult attachment and peer support, with a sample of 149 justice-involved individuals participating in a jail-based substance treatment program. Results of mediation analyses indicated that attachment anxiety mediated the relationship between victimization and problem recognition and desire for help; more victimization was associated with higher levels of attachment anxiety, which in turn predicted greater problem recognition and desire for help. Attachment avoidance mediated the association between victimization and desire for help, wherein more victimization was associated with more attachment avoidance, which in turn predicted a greater desire for help. Moderation analyses indicated that peer support moderated the relationship of attachment anxiety with desire for help, but not with problem recognition. For those perceiving high peer support, individuals with high attachment anxiety tended to report a greater desire for help; for those with low peer support, attachment anxiety did not predict desire for help. Clinicians might consider the role of attachment in treatment planning, particularly for those with a history of victimization. Treatment programs might benefit from cultivating an atmosphere of peer support while enabling and subsequently increasing the willingness for treatment.

Yang Yang & D. Rick Perkins
Psychology, Crime & Law, 15 Feb 2018