Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poverty, family conflict, and depression predict adolescent insecurity

15.11.2004


Attachment security has long been recognized as one of the hallmarks of adaptive social development in infancy and childhood, and is increasingly being recognized for its similar role in adolescence and adulthood. In adolescence, attachment security reflects the ability to openly and straightforwardly seek out and value close relationships while maintaining perspective and balance within those relationships.

Numerous studies have identified the importance of attachment security in teenagers, linking poor attachment security to a range of significant mental health outcomes from criminal behavior to substance abuse, even across decades. Additionally, studies find these outcomes may be passed onto future generations. But few studies have examined those factors that actually influence the development of adolescent attachment security. Thus, we designed this study to explore that question.

We conducted an intensive, longitudinal study of 101 at-risk ninth and tenth graders, assessing attachment security via an in-depth, hour-long interview that tapped the teens’ ability to think openly and clearly about their experiences in close relationships. Although attachment security is generally quite stable, we found that adolescents became increasingly insecure in the face of stressors that overwhelmed their coping abilities while also cutting them off from opportunities to rely on close relationships for support.



Specifically, we found that poverty, enmeshed family relationships, and depressive symptoms in adolescence were each associated with long-term decreases in the teens’ attachment security. Family poverty, for instance, likely produced such changes by simultaneously overwhelming both the adolescent and his or her parent(s).

In observing actual discussions of disagreements between parents and teens, we found that when these discussions became highly confused and conflicted, guilt-provoking, and pressuring, the teens became increasingly insecure during the following two years. These arguments appeared highly stressful to the teens, but we believe they also make it difficult for the teens to turn to their parents to cope with other stresses.

Finally, we found that depressed adolescents also became more insecure over time. The stress of depression, like the stresses from family poverty or enmeshed arguments, fit the pattern of overwhelming the teen while also resulting in tenser and less supportive family relationships.

These findings raise the possibility that poverty, depression and fractious family relationships may affect adolescent development in a way that has long-term implications for the adolescent and even for his/her offspring. Thus, efforts to reduce poverty in families with adolescents may have long-term implications for adolescent social development. The same can be said about efforts to better meet the mental health needs of depressed adolescents and adolescents experiencing high levels of family conflict.

This study also demonstrated that policies that do not effectively address these problems may not only create impairment and strain for adolescents, but may also leave them vulnerable to developing in ways that fundamentally alter their capacity for future social relationships--including relationships with their own future children.

Stephanie Somerville | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>