Attachment, negative affect, and suicidal ideation among adolescents
Gaschke, Yvonne N.
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This study examined the relationships between dimensions of attachment, negative affective traits (anxiety, hostility, and depression), and severity of suicidal ideation in sixteen-to-eighteen-year-old adolescents. The magnitude of such associations was also compared in order to determine whether significant differences exist between gender groups. Finally, the manner in which the relationships between attachment dimensions and suicidal ideation might be mediated by affective traits was examined.;Students (N = 217) from a local high school completed questionnaires that included measures of attachment, affect, and suicidal ideation. Six dimensions of the construct attachment were measured by the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment - Revised (IPPA-R; Armsden & Greenberg, 1987) and the Adult Attachment Scale (AAS; Collins & Read, 1990). Affective traits and suicidal ideation were assessed by the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List - Revised (MAACL-R, Trait Form; Zuckerman & Lubin, 1983) and the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ; Reynolds, 1988), respectively.;Significant correlations were found between attachment dimensions, negative affective traits, and severity of suicidal ideation for both sexes. The magnitude of such relationships did not differ significantly between gender groups with the exception of two findings: (a) The negative correlation between hostility and the extent to which one feels comfortable depending on others to be emotionally available was significantly stronger for males than for females, and (b) females revealed a significantly stronger positive correlation than males between hostility and suicidal ideation.;Finally, negative affective traits were not found to significantly mediate the relationship between attachment dimensions and suicidal ideation for males. For females, affective traits (particularly depression) were found to mediate the relationship between security of attachment to the mother figure and suicidal ideation.;Males' security of attachment to the father figure and females' security of attachment to the mother figure were also found to account for significant variance in suicidal ideation. In addition, security of attachment to peers and anxiety about the possibility of being abandoned or found unlovable accounted for significant proportions of the variance in suicidal ideation for both sexes.