Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Substance Use, Sexual Activity, and Attachment in Adolescent Romantic Couples
by Letcher, Amber, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2012, 102; 10631142
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between attachment behavior, substance use, and sexual activity among adolescents in romantic relationships. During adolescence, youth often test boundaries and may begin experimenting in risk behaviors. Concepts from attachment theory have recently been proposed to explain some of the variation in risk behavior among adolescents. However, research on adolescent attachment is limited and rarely assesses both members of the couple. Twenty-one adolescent couples (age 15-18) were assessed on self-report and observed measures of romantic attachment, parent-child attachment, substance use, and sexual activity. Dyadic data analysis using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model indicated both actor and partner effects. Specifically, attachment anxiety was related to one's own and his/her partner's risk behavior. However, partner effects were moderated by gender. Self-reported attachment avoidance was also related to one's own and his/her partner's observed attachment behaviors. A connection between parent-child attachment and romantic attachment was also found. Given these results, risk prevention and intervention programs targeted toward adolescents may benefit from assessing attachment representations of adolescents and their romantic partners which may be related to participation in risk behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slesnick, Natasha
Commitee: Buettner, Cynthia, Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Human Ecology: Human Development and Family Science
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research
Keywords: Adolescent, Attachment, Dyadic data, Romantic relationship, Substance use
Publication Number: 10631142
ISBN: 978-0-355-01432-7
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