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Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 427–440 | Cite as

Parental attachment and emotional distress in the transition to college

  • William H. Berman
  • Michael B. Sperling
Article

Abstract

The continued attachment to parents and peers in adults has been examined in two ways: the individual difference approach, examining characteristic attachment styles across relationships, and the general intensity approach, examining the salience of emotional and behavioral reactions to a particular separation. The present study examines the intensity of attachment to parents at the transition to college. This voluntary separation from parents was expected to elicit heightened attachment for college students, especially residential students, which would decrease over time. In addition, it was expected that high levels of parental attachment at the beginning of college would predispose students to later depression. Results indicate that parental attachment decreases during the first semester of college only for residential students. In addition, maternal attachment is significantly higher for females than for males. Finally, high levels of parental attachment in males at the beginning of college were predictive of high levels of depressed mood at the end of the first semester, while no relationship was found for females.

Keywords

College Student Individual Difference Health Psychology Depressed Mood Emotional Distress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Berman
    • 1
  • Michael B. Sperling
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFordham UniversityBronx
  2. 2.Cornell University Medical CollegeUSA

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