Adult Attachment, Dependence, Self-Criticism, and Depressive Symptoms: A Test of a Mediational Model


  • This article is based on the master's thesis of Amy Cantazaro, completed under the supervision of Meifen Wei at Iowa State University. This study was presented at the 2008 International Counseling Psychology Conference, Chicago, August 2008. We thank Julia D. Keleher for data collection as well as David Vogel and Zlatan Krizan for consultation.

concerning this article should be addressed to Amy Cantazaro or Meifen Wei, Department of Psychology, W112 Lagomarcino Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3180. Email: or


ABSTRACT Attachment anxiety is expected to be positively associated with dependence and self-criticism. However, attachment avoidance is expected to be negatively associated with dependence but positively associated with self-criticism. Both dependence and self-criticism are expected to be related to depressive symptoms. Data were analyzed from 424 undergraduate participants at a large Midwestern university, using structural equation modeling. Results indicated that the relation between attachment anxiety and depressive symptoms was fully mediated by dependence and self-criticism, whereas the relation between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms was partially mediated by dependence and self-criticism. Moreover, through a multiple-group comparison analysis, the results indicated that men with high levels of attachment avoidance are more likely than women to be self-critical.