The Influence of Representations of Attachment, Maternal–Adolescent Relationship Quality, and Maternal Monitoring on Adolescent Substance Use: A 2-Year Longitudinal Examination


  • This project was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (F31 DA15030) awarded to Steven A. Branstetter and grants from National Institutes of Mental Health (5RO1 HD 50106) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5R01HD049080) awarded to Wyndol Furman.

concerning this article should be addressed to Steven A. Branstetter, Department of BioBehavioral Health, 315 East Health and Human Development Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. Electronic mail may be sent to


The present study examined the hypotheses that more secure representations of attachments to parents are associated with less adolescent substance use over time and that this link is mediated through relationship quality and monitoring. A sample of 200 adolescents (= 14–16 years), their mothers, and close friends were assessed over 2 years. Higher levels of security in attachment styles, but not states of mind, were predictive of higher levels of monitoring and support and lower levels of negative interactions. Higher levels of security in attachment styles had an indirect effect on changes in substance use over time, mediated by maternal monitoring. These findings highlight the roles of representations of attachments, mother–adolescent relationship qualities, and monitoring in the development of adolescent substance use.