With the escalating incidence of psychological distress and mental health disorders among young adults, there is a need to advance culturally attuned and neuroscience-informed approaches to treat and prevent these concerns. Given the influence of attachment and related processes on mental health and wellness, exploration of the biological bases of attachment may be vital in the advancement of such strategies. Since researchers have demonstrated critically important relations between attachment and emotion regulation as well as between emotion regulation and respiration, breathing appears to be a logical, though novel, construct to examine in the context of attachment and emotion regulation. We used an exploratory cross-sectional correlational study to examine the relations among these constructs in a sample of young adults. We found significant positive relationships among attachment insecurity, difficulty regulating emotion, and symptoms of dysfunctional breathing and hyperventilation. Together, measures of attachment insecurity and symptoms of dysfunctional breathing and hyperventilation accounted for a significant portion of the variance in difficulty regulating emotion. We discuss the implications for counseling practice and future research.

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