Early-Adolescent Perceptions of Attachment to Mother and Father A Test of the Emotional-Distancing and Buffering Hypotheses
The Journal of Early Adolescence
The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the emotional distancing and buffering hypotheses. The sample was composed of 231 seventh graders (133 females and 98 males). Each adolescent completed a battery of questionnaires yielding measures of perceived attachment to mother and father, pubertal status, family expressiveness and cohesion, and feelings of depression and social anxiety. The emotional-distancing hypothesis was supported in that perceived attachment to parents was found to diminish with advanced pubertal maturity. The buffering hypothesis was also supported in that adolescents who perceived greater attachment to parents reported less depression and social anxiety as well as more positive perceptions of family expressiveness and cohesion. However, pubertal maturity did not appear to moderate the buffering effects of attachment. Results are discussed in terms of the need to further explore socialization processes associated with the child's transition into early adolescence.
Papini, D. R., Roggman, L. A., & Anderson, J. (1991). Early adolescent perceptions of attachment to mother and father: A test of the emotional distancing and buffering hypotheses. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11, 258-275.