Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 683–697

Parent and peer attachment in early adolescent depression

  • Gay C. Armsden
  • Elizabeth McCauley
  • Mark T. Greenberg
  • Patrick M. Burke
  • Jeffrey R. Mitchell
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01342754

Cite this article as:
Armsden, G.C., McCauley, E., Greenberg, M.T. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1990) 18: 683. doi:10.1007/BF01342754

Abstract

Insecure attachment relations have been theorized to play a significant role in the development of depressogenic modes of adaptation and to thus form a vulnerability factor for the emergence of depressive disorder in children. This study examined security of parent and peer attachment among four groups of early adolescents: clinically depressed, nondepressed psychiatric controls, nonpsychiatric controls, and adolescents with resolved depression. Depressed adolescents reported significantly less secure parent attachment than either of the control groups, and less secure peer attachment than the nonpsychiatric control group. Attachment security of adolescents with resolved depression was on a par with the nonpsychiatric control group. Among all psychiatric patients, security of attachment to parents was negatively correlated with severity of depression according to interview and selfreport ratings. Less secure attachment to parents, but generally not to peers, was also related to more maladaptive attributional styles, presence of separation anxiety disorder, and history of suicidal ideation.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gay C. Armsden
    • 1
  • Elizabeth McCauley
    • 2
  • Mark T. Greenberg
    • 3
  • Patrick M. Burke
    • 4
  • Jeffrey R. Mitchell
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Care SystemsUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington, and Children's Hospital and Medical CenterSeattle
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Children's HospitalPittsburgh
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington, and Children's Hospital and Medical Center (ZC-10)Seattle