Bao, Lin - Adolescent attachment and problem behaviours among teens: The roles of parental adult attachment...

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This thesis has been submitted to the Library for purposes of graduation, but needs to be audited for technical details related to publication in order to be approved for inclusion in the Library collection.
Fall 2017
Degree type: 
Department of Psychology
Arts & Social Sciences
Senior supervisor: 
Marlene Moretti
Thesis title: 
Adolescent attachment and problem behaviours among teens: The roles of parental adult attachment
Given Names: 
Teens with insecure attachment are at risk of developing problem behaviours, but the roles that parents’ attachment strategies play in the development of adolescent problem behaviours is rarely explored. This study examined the direct and indirect impacts of parents’ attachment strategies on teens’ mental health in a clinical population. Results indicated that while parents’ attachment strategies were uncorrelated with adolescent problem behaviours, they moderated the relationships between teens’ attachment strategies and internalizing problems, but not externalizing problems. Specifically, parents’ avoidant attachment strategies were associated with teens’ heightened vulnerability to internalizing problems, especially among teens less prone to internalizing problems. Importantly, while teens’ secure attachment strategies were generally associated with low levels of internalizing problems, the protective effect of attachment security was no longer present when parents consistently relied on avoidant attachment strategies, demonstrating a dismissing attachment style. Implications of these findings are discussed.
problem behaviours, adolescent attachment, parental adult attachment, moderation, anxious attachment strategies, avoidant attachment strategies
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