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Adolescents’ attachment style and early experiences: a gender difference

Summary

We examined gender differences in perceived rearing and adult attachment style in adolescents. A total of 3,912 senior college students (1,149 men and 2,763 women) ages 18-23 (men’s M = 20.1 years, women’s M = 20.0 years) were administered a set of questionnaires including Relationship Questionnaire (to measure adult attachment), the Parental Bonding Instrument (perceived rearing), and a list of early life events. In the men, positive adult total attachment style was predicted by the scores of paternal care and low scores on maternal overprotection in a hierarchical regression analysis. On the other hand, in the women, positive adult total attachment style was predicted by the scores of paternal and maternal care, and low score on maternal overprotection. Adult attachment was also predicted by fewer Peer Victimization experience as a child in both men and women. However, while men’s adult attachment was predicted by Self Disease experiences, women’s adult attachment was predicted by Top Star experiences and fewer Relocation experiences. The adult attachment style was predictable from early experiences but there existed some gender differences.

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Matsuoka, N., Uji, M., Hiramura, H. et al. Adolescents’ attachment style and early experiences: a gender difference. Arch Womens Ment Health 9, 23–29 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-005-0105-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-005-0105-9

  • Keywords: Adult attachment style; perceived rearing; life event.