ERIC Number: ED395229
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Attachment and Social Problem Solving in Juvenile Delinquents.
Mathew, Saritha S.; And Others
This study investigates characteristics of juvenile delinquency and youth violence by examining attachment and social problem skills. Attachment theory integrates features of psychoanalytic theory, ethology, and cognitive psychology. Research on adolescent attachment suggests that parents continue to function as a secure base for their teenage children. Researchers examined the relationship between insecure patterns of attachment and specific deficits in social problem-solving as applied to three hypotheses: (1) Insecure attachment is related to increased hostile attributional bias in ambiguous social situations; (2) Insecure attachment is inversely related to competence of solutions generated on a social problem-solving task; and (3) Insecure attachment is related to the expectation of fewer potential negative consequences for responding aggressively. Participants were 100 incarcerated male adolescent offenders, between the ages of 13 and 17. To measure attachment and social problem solving, subjects completed the Adolescent Attachment Questionnaire, and then answered questions on their impressions of hostile intent in a series of videotaped vignettes depicting various social interactions. Results showed a specific link between attachment patterns and social problem solving deficits in delinquent adolescents. In particular, the tendency to attribute hostile intentions to neutral or ambiguous social interactions may be partially a product of underlying attachment styles. Three tables present statistical analysis. Contains 23 references. (RJM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Attachment Behavior, Delinquency, Emotional Development, Individual Development, Interpersonal Competence, Moral Development, Parent Child Relationship, Personality Development, Personality Studies, Personality Theories, Secondary Education, Social Cognition, Violence, Youth Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Attachment Disorders; Social Problem Solving
Note: Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).