The attachment adaptation process model: Developing attachment security after experiencing addiction in the family. By: Coffman, Everette; Swank, Jacqueline and Bayne, Hannah B. 2024. Family Relations. Vol. 73 Issue 2, p1455-1473.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to explore the adaptation processes of building attachment security later in life when one’s attachment style has been affected by growing up in a household with a parent who uses substances. Background: Parental substance use may have negative effects on children who grow up in those homes, including developing an insecure attachment style. Limited studies have focused on adult children of alcoholics/addicts’ (ACOAs) attachment adaptation processes into adulthood. Method: Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we explored the process ACOA’s use to build attachment security. The first author interviewed 14 participants using a semistructured interview format through the video conferencing platform Zoom. Results: Through analysis of the data, we identified a four‐phase process: (a) confusion, (b) transition, (c) restoration, and (d) dedication. This information provides a framework to show clients the attachment adaptation process model (AAPM), developed in this study, and helps them to visualize the process by which they may learn to develop more attachment security. Conclusion: ACOAs may incur adverse experiences in childhood that influence their attachment development later in life. The researchers in this study built a model of how ACOAs build attachment security later in life. Implications: Practitioners can help clients connect with community support groups, places of worship, and other small groups that the participants identified as instrumental in the healing process. Overall, helping clients find a place for safe and healthy connections is crucial during their journey to attachment security.