Panic disorder : exploration of attachment, heterogeneity and the regulation of anger

Fooks, Deborah (2005) Panic disorder : exploration of attachment, heterogeneity and the regulation of anger. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


The impact of a panic attack on the individual can be physically and emotionally disabling. Panic disorder -the chronic fear associated with recurrent attacks, is estimated to have a lifetime prevalence of 3% within the adult population. To date, the treatment panic disorder is restricted to focusing on removal of the manifest symptoms. However, research indicates that this focus is limited in its effectiveness. Recent studies have proposed that this may be due to the assumption in diagnosis, that panic disorder is a homogenous syndrome. Rather, they propose that panic disorder may arise out of a multiplicity of pathways incorporating biological, developmental and/or environmental factors. This study investigated the proposition that panic disorder is not homogenous. It was proposed that a proportion of sufferers of panic disorder acquire this via a developmental pathway involving childhood separation anxiety and perceptions of aberrant parenting styles. These two variables, which arise out of insecure attachment infancy, have been reported to be present in the histories of a large number of panic disorder patients. Furthermore, it was proposed that emotional issues, in particular anger suppression, which has been found to be a significant factor arising from insecure attachment and vulnerability in relationships, would also be implicated in the onset of panic attacks.

Additional Information

D. Psych. (Clinical Psychology)

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords panic disorder, emotional disorders, attachment, separation, bonding, homogenous
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