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Parenting Styles and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents: Mediating Effect of Attachment

Abstract

The present study aims to analyze the role of parenting styles in the development of suicidal ideation in adolescents, as well as test the mediating role of attachment to parents in the association between authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting style and suicidal ideation. The sample was made up of 604 individuals, aged between 15 and 18. In order to gather data, the Styles & Dimensions Questionnaire: Short Version, the Father/Mother Attachment Questionnaire and the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire were used. The results suggest that the relations with parents, which are characterized by inhibition of exploration and of individuality, contribute to an emotional maladjustment being positively associated with suicidal ideation (r = .26 to r = .28). This confirmed the mediating role of parental attachment in the association between authoritative and permissive parenting styles from father and mother to suicidal ideation. It was also verified also a partial mediation, through the attachment to parents, in the association between the parent’s authoritarian style and the mother’s permissive styles and suicidal ideation. Furthermore, it was found the presence of total mediation, by throughout to attachment to the father, in the association between the father’s permissive style and suicidal ideation. The results suggest the importance of adopting authoritative parenting styles, since they seem to facilitate the development of the quality of attachment with parents. The results were analyzed in light of the attachment theory, taking into consideration the importance of parenting styles in understanding the processes inherent to suicidal ideation in adolescence.

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Funding

This research was partially funded by FCT under the project PEst-C/PSI/UI0050/2011 and FEDER funds through the COMPETE program under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022714.

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Correspondence to Filipa Nunes.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Nunes, F., Mota, C.P. Parenting Styles and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents: Mediating Effect of Attachment. J Child Fam Stud 26, 734–747 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0611-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0611-6

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Emotional bonds
  • Parenting styles
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Adolescence