Attachment, attachment hierarchy, postdeployment social support and somatization among Czech combatants

Aneta Cvrčková, Lenka Lacinová


In the past few years there has been an increase in research interest of attachment and its hierarchy with related biopsychosocial phenomena through different population groups of adults. The first aim of this study is first to probe how the attachment, the post-deployment support and the combat experience influence somatization tendencies of the Czech combatants. The second aim of this study is to probe whether colleagues from deployment can be found among attachment figures of soldiers. The research was realized via questionnaire survey among 71 Czech combatants, who were at least once deployed. The applied methods were Experience in Close Relationship-Relationship Structures (ECR-RS), Post-Deployment Support and The Combat Experience Scale from Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, a short form of SCL-90 and WHOTO. The results show that the attachment anxiety and the post-deployment support significantly predict the somatization tendencies. The second result of this study shows that colleagues from deployment appear among combatant´s at­tachment figures. The results could serve as the source for developing an intervention programme.

(Fulltext in Czech)


somatization tendencies, social support, attachment, attachment hierarchy


Basham, K. (2008). Homecoming as safe haven or the new front: Attachment and detachment in military couples. Clinical Social Work Journal, 36(1), 83–96.

Castro, C. A., Hoge, C. W., Milliken, C. W., McGurk, D., Adler, A. B., Cox, A., & Bliese, P. D. (2006). Battlemind training: Transitioning home from combat. Silver Spring, MD: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Currier, J. M., Holland, J. M., & Allen, D. (2012). Attachment and mental health symptoms among U.S. Afghanistan and Iraq veterans seeking health care services. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(6), 633–640.

Doherty, N. A., & Feeney, J. A. (2004). The composition of attachment networks throughout the adult years. Personal Relationships, 11(4), 469–488.

Fraley, R. C., & Davis, K. (1997). Attachment formation and transfer in young adults' close friendships and romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 4(2), 131–144.

Fraley, R. C., Heffernan, M. E., Vicary, A. M., & Brumbraugh, C. C. (2011).The experiences in close relationships – Relationship Structure Questionnaire: A method for assessing attachment orientations across relationships. Psychological Assessment, 23(3), 615–625.

Goldmann, E., Calabrese, J., Prescott, M. R, Tamburrino, M., Liberzon, I., Slembarski, R., Shirley, E., Fine, T., Goto, T., Wilson, K., Ganocy, S., Chan, P., Serrano, M. B., Sizemore, J., Galea, S. (2012). Potentially modifiable pre-, peri-, and postdeployment characteristics associated with deployment-related posttraumatic stress disorder among Ohio Army National Guard soldiers. Annals of Epidemiology, 22(2), 71–78. doi: 10.1016/j.anne­pidem.2011.11­.003.

Griffith, J., & West, C. (2010). The Army National Guard in OIF/OEF: Relationships among combat exposure, postdeployment stressors, social support, and risk behaviors. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 1486–94.

Han, S. C, Castro, F., Lee, L. O., Charney, M. E., Marx, B. P., Brailey, K., Proctor, S. P., & Vasterling, J. J. (2014). Military unit support, postdeployment social support, and PTSD symptoms among active duty and National Guard soldiers deployed to Iraq. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28(5), 446–453.

Hoge, C. W., Castro, C. A., Messer, S. C., McGurk, D., Cotting, D. I., & Koffman, R. L. (2004). Combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems and barriers to care. The New England Journal of Medicine, 351, 13–22.

Jordan, K. (2011). Counselors helping service veterans re-enter their couple relationship after combat and military services: A comprehensive overview. Family Journal, 19(3), 263–273. Killgore, W. D. S., Stetz, M. C., Castro, C. A., & Hoge, Ch. W. (2006). The effects of prior combat experience on the expression of somatic and affective symptoms in deploying soldiers. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60(4), 379–385.

King, L. A., King, D. W., Vogt, D. S., Knight, J., & Samper, R. E. (2006). Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory: A collection of measures for studying deployment-related experiences of military personnel and veterans. Military Psychology, 18(2), 89–120.

Lipman, R. S., Derogatis, L. R., & Covi, L. (1973). SCL-90: an outpatient psychiatric rating scale ‒ preliminary report. Psychopharmacol­Bull, 9, 13–28.

Marshall, A. D., Panuzio, J., & Taft, C. T. (2005). Intimate partner violence among military veterans and active duty servicemen. Clinical Psychology Review, 25862–25876.

Mikulincer, M. (2007). Attachment in adulthood: structure, dynamics, and change. New York: Guilford Press.

Mikulincer, M., Horesh, N., Eilati, I., & Kotler, M. (1999). The association between adult attachment style and mental health in extreme life-endangering conditions. Personality and Individual Differences, 27(5), 831–842.

Mikulincer, M., Solomon, Z., Shaver, P. R., & Ein-Dor, T. (2014). Attachment-related consequences of war captivity and trajectories of posttraumatic stress disorder: A 17-year longitudinal study. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 33(3), 207.

Stratton, K. J., Hawn, S. E., Amstadter, A. B., Cifu, D. X., & Walker, W. C. (2014). Correlates of pain symptoms among Iraq and Afghanistan military personnel following combat-related blast exposure. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 51(8), 1189–1202.

Unwin, C., Blatchley, N., Coker, W., Ferry, S., Hotopf, M., Hull, L., Ismail, K., Palmer, I., David, A., & Wessely S. (1999). Health of UK servicemen who served in Persian Gulf War. Lancet, 353(9148), 169–178.

Vogt, D., Proctor, S., King, D., King, L., & Vasterling, J. (2008). Validation of scales from the deployment risk and resilience inventory in a sample of operation Iraqi freedom veterans. Assessment, 15(4), 391–403.

Vogt, D., Smith, B., Elwy, R., Schultz, M., Drainoni, M., Eisen, S., & Martin, J. (2011). Predeployment, deployment, and postdeployment risk factors for posttraumatic stress symptomatology in female and male OEF/OIF veterans. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(4), 819–831.

Zakin, G., Solomon, Z., & Neria, Y. (2003). Hardiness, attachment style, and long term psychological distress among Israeli POWs and combat veterans. Personality and Individual Differences, 34(5), 819–829.

Show all Hide