Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.
Description: The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ingle, Sarah J.