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Attachment and depression: The mediating roles of personal life projects and emotional intelligence

Abstract

Attachment patterns between parent and child have been shown to make a great contribution to individuals’ well-being including positive mood and depressive symptoms. Even though the relationship between difficulties in parental attachment and depression has been well demonstrated, there is still a need for understanding the mediating factors of this relationship. In this regard, the aim of the present study was to examine the mediating effects of personal life projects as a narrative construct, and emotional intelligence on the relationship between attachment to parents and depression using structural equation modeling (SEM). For this purpose, 512 high school students (218 female, 294 male) with the mean age of 15.71 (SD = .97) were recruited. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire package including measurements of parental attachment, personal life projects, emotional intelligence, and depressive symptoms. Findings provided empirical support that personal life projects and emotional intelligence together fully mediate the relationship between attachment to parents and depression. Results further showed that attachment to parents contributes to personal life projects both directly and also through emotional intelligence. The implications of the findings for clinical work and the enhancement of well-being are discussed and directions for future research are outlined.

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Correspondence to Başak İnce.

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İnce, B., Şimsek, Ö.F. & Özbek, L. Attachment and depression: The mediating roles of personal life projects and emotional intelligence. Curr Psychol 39, 1910–1920 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-0136-4

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Depression
  • Ontological well-being
  • Personal life projects
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Adolescence