Attachment organization as a moderator of the link between friendship quality and adolescent delinquency

Citation:

McElhaney, K. B., Immele, A., Smith, F. D., & Allen, J. P. (2006). Attachment organization as a moderator of the link between friendship quality and adolescent delinquency. Attachment and Human Development , 8 (1), 33-46.

Abstract:

This study examined attachment organization as a moderator of the link between the quality of the adolescents’ current friendships and delinquent behavior. Data were gathered from a moderately atrisk sample of 71 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adolescents. Results revealed a moderating effect of attachment organization (as assessed by the AAI) such that strong and supportive friendships were linked to lower levels of delinquency, but only when adolescents’ attachment organization reflected an orientation toward heightened attention to attachment relationships (via preoccupation or via clear lack of dismissal of attachment). These results suggest that attachment organization plays an important role in delineating the conditions under which the qualities of social relationships are likely to be linked to important psychosocial outcomes.

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