Bender, Patrick K.4; Sømhovd, Mikael5; Pons, Francisco3; Reinholdt-Dunne, Marie L.5; Esbjørn, Barbara H.4
1 Institut for Psykologi, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 University of Oslo, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology4 Institut for Psykologi, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Theoretical views and empirical findings suggest interrelations among attachment security, emotion dysregulation and anxiety in childhood and adolescence. However, the associations among the three constructs have rarely been investigated in children, and no study has yet addressed these associations in adolescence. The aim of the present study was to test a model of the interrelations among the three factors on a sample of 673 youths (age 9–16), using structural equation modelling. In accordance with theoretical conceptualisations, it was hypothesised that attachment security would relate to anxiety and that emotion dysregulation would help explain the association between attachment security and anxiety. Results showed that more securely attached youths reported less emotion dysregulation and that youths who had fewer emotion regulation difficulties experienced less anxiety. The association between attachment security and anxiety was mediated by emotion dysregulation. The model was confirmed for both children and adolescents. Findings are discussed with respect to theoretical implications, as well as future directions.
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 2015, Vol 20, Issue 2, p. 189-204