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Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728


LACASA, Fernando; MITJAVILA, Merce; OCHOA, Susana  and  BALLUERKA, Nekane. The relationship between attachment styles and internalizing or externalizing symptoms in clinical and nonclinical adolescents. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.2, pp.422-432. ISSN 1695-2294.

Studies regarding the relationship between attachment and psychopathology during adolescence have been performed separately for clinical and nonclinical adolescents and have used different assessment measures, which together might produce a methodological bias that increases the association between attachment and psychopathology. With the aim of avoiding this bias, the present study used identical measures to explore the relationship between attachment styles and internalizing or externalizing symptoms in clinical and nonclinical samples of adolescents. The sample consisted of 258 adolescents, 129 clinical and 129 nonclinical, aged between 14 and 18 years. The adolescents in each sample were matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Attachment was assessed using the CaMir Q-sort, and psychopathological symptoms were assessed by means of the Youth Self Report (YSR). The relationships between attachment and psychopathology were similar for clinical and nonclinical adolescents. A preoccupied attachment style predicted internalizing and externalizing symptoms, somatic complaints, anxious-fearful behavior, verbal aggression, attention-seeking behavior, and thinking problems. Compared to previous studies, this research has made it possible to identify broader, stronger, and more specific associations between preoccupied attachment style and psychopathological symptoms in adolescents.

Keywords : Attachment style; adolescence; internalizing symptoms; externalizing symptoms.

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