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Attachment Style With Mother, Father, Best Friend, and Romantic Partner During Adolescence

Doyle, A. B.,
Lawford, H.,
Markiewicz, D.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2009
Society for Research on Adolescence
Journal of Research on Adolescence, 19(4); 690-714: 2009
Concordia University

In this study, the authors examined self-reported attachment styles with mother, father, best friend, and romantic partner longitudinally across adolescence. Developmental changes in self-reported attachment security, dismissiveness, preoccupation, and fearfulness were assessed in three age groups of adolescents (ages 13, 16, and 19 years; n=373) followed across 2 years. There was only one change in attachment styles with age: the oldest adolescents were more dismissive than the younger. Adolescents were more secure with mother than with father, and most dismissive and fearful with father. Boys were more dismissing than girls, who were more fearful with a romantic partner. Across time, attachment insecurity with father was associated with insecurity with a best friend. Attachment insecurity with a romantic partner was associated primarily with insecurity with friend, but changes over time tended to be associated with insecurity with mother. Results support the view of a differentiated hierarchy ofattachment figures in adolescence, the authors conclude, with the quality of parental attachment contributing to close extra-familial relationships. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to Anna Beth Doyle, Department of Psychology PY170-15, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1M8; E-mail:; Website:
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