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"Attachment and adolescent depression: The impact of early attachment experiences"

"Attachment & Human Development

Volume 7, Number 4 / December 2005

409 - 424

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Attachment and adolescent depression: The impact of early attachment experiences

Samantha K. Shaw A1 and Rudi Dallos A2

A1 University of Bristol, UK
A2 University of Plymouth, UK


Bowlby's (1969/1982) ideas of attachment as an interactional system provide the basis for an understanding of the development of adaptive and maladaptive working models of the self and other. More specifically, attachment theory can offer an in-depth understanding into the development of a depressotypic self-schema. Attachment theory is set alongside research into adolescent depression in order to illustrate the importance of the primary attachment relationship in protecting adolescents in our society from developing depressive symptomatology. Therefore, current research in adolescent depression is viewed through the lens of attachment theory. This view is complemented by an exploration of the role of culture in the production of gender differences in depression. Thus, a tripartite model of adolescent depression, including the individual, family relationships, and socio-cultural factors is offered as being of potential value for clinicians and researchers in this area.


Adolescents, depression, attachment, culture, gender "