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The Relation of Attachment Security to Adolescents’ Paternal and Peer Relationships, Depression, and Externalizing Behavior

Authors


  • This study and its write-up were supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH44934, R01-MH58066 & F31-MH65711-01). The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Sy Miin Chow in the analyses of data for this article.

concerning this study should be sent to Joseph P. Allen at Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400. Electronic mail may be sent to allen@virginia.edu.

Abstract

The relation of attachment security to multiple domains of psychosocial functioning was examined in a community sample of 167 early adolescents. Security of attachment organization, assessed using the Adult Attachment Interview, was linked to success in establishing autonomy while maintaining a sense of relatedness both with fathers and with peers, even after accounting for predictions from qualities of the mother-teen relationship. Growth curve analyses revealed links of insecurity to increasing patterns of externalizing behavior and higher and stable patterns of depressive symptoms across adolescence. Implications for a developing theory of the connections of the attachment system to multiple domains of functioning in adolescence are discussed.

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