Publications by Year: 1996


Allen, J., & Hauser, S. (1996). Autonomy and relatedness in adolescent-family interactions as predictors of young adults’ states of mind regarding attachment. Development and Psychopathology, 8(4), 793-809.
This study examined the extent to which the diverging pathways taken by adolescents and their parents in establishing autonomy and relatedness in their interactions at age 14 served as stage-specific markers of underlying attachment processes that could help predict states of mind regarding attachment of the adolescents 11 years later as young adults. Adolescents in two-parent families (N=73) and their parents, originally selected from either a high school sample or a psychiatrically hospitalized sample, participated in a revealed differences family interaction task when adolescents were 14 years of age. At age 25, subjects were reinterviewed using the Adult Attachment Interview, which yielded ratings of specific states of mind and overall organization of models of attachment relationships. After accounting for the prior psychiatric history of the sample (which was highly related to attachment insecurity) and global indices of functioning in both adolescence and young adulthood, coherence/ security in adults' states of mind regarding attachment was predicted from maternal behaviors promoting adolescent autonomy and relatedness 11 years earlier. One indicator of adult preoccupation with attachment relationships, passivity of thought processes, was predicted from adolescents' autonomy-inhibiting behaviors, specifically from the presence of enmeshing behaviors and the absence of distancing behaviors. Results are interpreted as suggesting that establishing autonomy and relatedness with parents may be an attachment-related, developmental task for both normal and at-risk adolescents, and that serious psychopathology and difficulties establishing autonomy and relatedness in adolescence may represent two independent pathways to insecure attachment models in young adulthood.
Allen, J., Hauser, S., & Borman-Spurrell, E. (1996). Attachment theory as a framework for understanding sequelae of severe adolescent psychopathology: An 11-year follow-up study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(2), 254-263.
This study examined long-term sequelae of severe adolescent psychopathology from the perspective of adult attachment theory. The study compared 66 upper-middle-class adolescents who were psychiatrically hospitalized at age 14 for problems other than thought or organic disorders, to 76 sociodemographically similar high school students. When reinterviewed at age 25, virtually all of the previously hospitalized adolescents displayed insecure attachment organizations, in contrast to a more typical mixture of security and insecurity in the former high school sample. Lack of resolution of previous trauma with attachment figures accounted for much of this insecurity. Insecurity in adult attachment organization at age 25 was also linked to self-reported criminal behavior and use of hard drugs in young adulthood. These findings are discussed as reflecting a substantial and enduring connection between attachment organization and severe adolescent psychopathology and a possible role of attachment organization in mediating some of the long-term sequelae of such psychopathology. 
Allen, J., Hauser, S., O’Connor, T., Bell, K., & Eickholt, C. (1996). The connection of observed hostile family conflict to adolescents’ developing autonomy and relatedness with parents. Development and Psychopathology, 8(2), 425-442.

This study examined the link between hostile conflict in families with adolescents and adolescents' efforts to establish autonomy and relatedness in interactions with parents in both normal and psychiatrically impaired groups. Longitudinal, observational data were obtained by coding family interaction tasks involving 53 adolescents and their two parents at age 14 and age 16 years. Measures were obtained for hostile adolescent-parent conflict, hostile marital conflict, and indices of adolescents' success or difficultly in establishing autonomy and relatedness in interactions with parents. Relative increases in adolescent-parent hostile conflict from age 14 to 16 years were predicted by adolescents' behaviors actively undermining autonomy in disagreements with parents at age 14 years. Hostile marital conflict observed by the adolescent at age 14 years predicted adolescent withdrawal from the hostile parent over time, a prediction that was not mediated by observed parenting behaviors. Difficulties in establishing autonomy and relatedness were linked to prior history of psychiatric difficulty. A developmental view of conflict as both reflecting and predicting difficulties in adolescents' establishing autonomy and relatedness in interactions with parents is proposed.

Kuperminc, G., Allen, J., & Arthur, M. (1996). Autonomy, Relatedness, and Male Adolescent Delinquency: Toward a Multidimensional View of Social Competence. Journal of Adolescent Research, 11(4), 397-420.
This study explored adolescents' developmental strivings for autonomy and relatedness as motivations in socialproblem-solving competence, and the relevance of those strivings to explaining variation in delinquent activity. Eighty African American and Caucasian male adolescents (11 through 18 years of age) at high riskfor delinquency provided their likely strategies for resolving hypothetical interpersonal dilemmas. Strategies reflecting relatedness striving and autonomous-related reasoning were correlated positively with social problem solving and academic competence. Acts of delinquency were more frequent among adolescents whose strategies showed little relatedness striving, combined with lackof understanding that relationships can support bothautonomy and relatedness. These findings support the view that motivations to establish autonomy while maintaining relationships characterize important dimensions of adolescent social competence and may help enhance knowledge of adolescent problem behaviors. Recommendations for prevention and intervention efforts include increased attention to providing settings that facilitate positive expressions of developmental needs for autonomy and relatedness.