Anxiety/Depression and Hostility/Suspiciousness in Adolescent Boys: Testing Adherence to Honor Code as Mediator of Callousness and Attachment Insecurity


  • This study was supported by grant from Shaine Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lior Y. Somech and Yoel Elizur contributed equally to this article. Lior Y. Somech is grateful to the Azrieli Foundation for the award of an Azrieli Fellowship. We thank Bruce Oppenheimer for his careful reading of the manuscript and helpful suggestions, and those who kindly volunteered to participate in the study.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Yoel Elizur, School of Education, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. E-mail:


Research of psychological distress (PD) needs to differentiate between anxiety/depression and hostility/suspiciousness, which are associated with different motivational systems. In this study, structural equation modeling was used to test two hypothesized models for the prediction of each facet of PD. Hypotheses were proposed about the effects of callousness and attachment insecurity, and the mediating role of adherence to honor code (AHC), with respect to each PD facet. AHC was defined by the endorsement of honor culture attitudes. The sample included 136 adolescent boys from high- and low-level Israeli schools. The results supported the differentiation between two PD models. AHC mediated the prediction of hostility/suspiciousness by callousness and attachment insecurity. Age and attachment insecurity predicted anxiety/depression. However, AHC and callousness did not predict anxiety/depression.