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.
|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|
|Keywords:||Adolescent, Attachment, Dyadic data, Romantic relationship, Substance use|
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