During the military dictatorship (1976–1983), an estimated 30,000 people were murdered. The lives of the Disappeared Victims’ Children (DVCs) have been characterized by trauma: some of them were born in detention centers and were illegally adopted by military acquaintances, while others lived with their surviving and grieving relatives. This research attempted to explore the relationships among eighteen DVCs’ disorganized/unresolved attachment, their dissociative and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and the description of their caregivers as frightened or abusive, by administering the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), the PTSD Checklist (PCL-C) and the Adult Attachment Interview, using a mixed method based on the qualitative analyses of the AAIs in conjunction with the standard AAI coding. Even though all eighteen participants described traumatic experiences, only eight showed a disorganized/unresolved attachment. Disorganized/unresolved DVCs showed higher scores for both PTSD (M = 36.00) and DES (M = 22.89) compared to resolved ones (PCL-C mean = 31.40; DES M = 13.46). Furthermore, all narratives included childhood fears, and twelve accounts included imaginative absorption which are related to disorganized/unresolved attachment and to dissociative tendencies. Finally, abusive but not frightening/frightened caregiving was always related to disorganized/unresolved state of mind. This study contributes to shedding light on the relationship between traumatic experiences, PTSD, disorganized attachment and dissociative sequelae in an exceptional sample.
de Baggis, C., Jimenez Naharro, M., Pallini, S. (2022). The children of the Argentinean desaparecidos: Traumatic attachment-related experiences. CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REVIEW, 137, 106478 [10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106478].