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Attachment style stability and its relation to adjustment in adolescence

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Attachment style stability and its relation to adjustment in adolescence

Campini, Clairalice (2000) Attachment style stability and its relation to adjustment in adolescence. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The significance of fluctuations in attachment for maladaptive behaviours in adolescence is the focus of this longitudinal study. The adolescent years represent a time of great change, both at the interpersonal and intrapersonal levels. As teens are shaping their conceptions about themselves and the world, many engage in a wide range of maladaptive exploratory behaviours, such as delinquency, substance use, and irresponsible sex. Attachment security has been shown to have implications for adjustment throughout the lifespan. Attachment styles are considered to be relatively stable over time, although fluctuations are not atypical. The principal question we wished to address in the present study is the following: are adolescents who remain insecurely attached over time more likely to be maladjusted than adolescents who fluctuate from secure to insecure or vice versa, and from adolescents who remain securely attached over time? Adolescents (n = 131) who had (a) stable secure; (b) stable insecure; (c) unstable attachment styles completed self-report measures of delinquency, drug use, sexuality, and attachment style to mother twice, once when they were in grade 10 or 11 (Time 1), and again one year later (Time 2). Results indicated that adolescents whose attachment style fluctuated (unstable group) engaged in a significantly wider variety of delinquent activities at Time 1 than the adolescents who remained secure from Time 1 to Time 2. Also, unstables decreased in variety of delinquent acts from Time 1 to Time 2. The findings are discussed in light of the significance of attachment instability, as well as the relation between instability and maladjustment in adolescence.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Campini, Clairalice
Pagination:78 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Psychology
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Doyle, Anna-Beth
ID Code:1118
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:16
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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