Attachment and Autonomy as Predictors of the Development of Social Skills and Delinquency During Midadolescence

Citation:

Allen, J. P., Marsh, P., McFarland, C., McElhaney, K. B., Land, D. J., Jodl, K. M., & Peck, S. (2002). Attachment and Autonomy as Predictors of the Development of Social Skills and Delinquency During Midadolescence. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology , 70 (1), 56-66.

Abstract:

This study examined adolescent attachment organization as a predictor of the development of social skills and delinquent behavior during midadolescence. Delinquent activity and skill levels were assessed for 117 moderately at-risk adolescents at ages 16 and 18, and maternal and adolescent attachment organization and autonomy in interactions were assessed at age 16. Adolescent attachment security predicted relative increases in social skills from age 16 to 18, whereas an insecure–preoccupied attachment organization predicted increasing delinquency during this period. In addition, preoccupied teens interacting with highly autonomous mothers showed greater relative decreases in skill levels and increases in delinquent activity over time, suggesting a heightened risk for deviance among preoccupied teens who may be threatened by growing autonomy in adolescent– parent interactions.

Link