European journal of psychology of education vol:13 issue:4 pages:529-542
Possible associations between parent-child interaction and adolescent well-being have been explored from a number of theoretical perspectives. in the present study attachment theory was used as a general theoretical framework to study these associations with attention being concentrated on one particular aspect of adolescent well-being, i. e., loneliness and attitudes towards being alone. Measures of adolescent attachment style (based on ratings of both normal family scenes and stressful separation situations) and a multidimensional measure of loneliness were administered to two samples of Belgian (Dutch-speaking) adolescents aged 15 to 18 (n=200 and n=357, respectively). Subjects were classified into four attachment groups: Secure, Dependent, Anxious-Ambivalent and Avoidant. Results indicated that Securely attached adolescents experienced lower levels of parent-related loneliness and this effect extended to loneliness ib the relationships with peers. A version to being alone was experienced more strongly among Dependently attached adolescents. Finally, adolescents wire evidenced Avoidant or Anxious-Ambivalent attachment felt more positive about being on their own. Implications of these findings for attachment theory ai-e discussed and problems associated with the four-category model of attachment as used in the present study are outlined.