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 Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>