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Adolescents’ Subtypes of Attachment Security with Fathers and Mothers and Self-Perceptions of Socioemotional Adjustment

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.24046    6,734 Downloads   13,462 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

The study examined adolescents’ secure attachment with both versus one parent, for deeper understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of their socioemotional adjustment. Specifically, the current study aimed to identify different attachment profiles with father and mother among 203 adolescents aged 15 - 17 years and to examine whether these profiles associated differently with their self-rated peer-network loneliness and peer-dyadic loneliness, positive and negative affect, and internalizing behavior problems. Descriptive statistics demonstrated that more adolescents were classified as securely attached to mothers than to fathers. No significant associations emerged between adolescents’ sex and attachment classification distributions with mothers or fathers. Using k-means clustering methods, four distinct clusters emerged: secure attachment to both parents/to neither/to only father/to only mother. Tukey HSD and Scheffe procedures validated the attachment clusters, revealing significant inter-cluster differences on all of the adolescents’ socioemotional measures. The current results also highlighted that the group of adolescents who felt securely attached to both parents was least vulnerable to experiencing socioemotional difficulties. In addition, secure attachment only to one's mother and not to one's father did not seem to act as a protective factor for these adolescents, with the exception of protection from peer-dyadic loneliness. Discussion focused on understanding the possible contribution of parent-adolescent secure attachment among these subgroups of typically developing adolescents.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Al-Yagon, M. (2011). Adolescents’ Subtypes of Attachment Security with Fathers and Mothers and Self-Perceptions of Socioemotional Adjustment. Psychology, 2, 291-299. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.24046.

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