The ability to form and maintain good social relationships in adolescence is an important indicator of healthy functioning and an important predictor of healthy psychological and social development later in life (kupersmidt, Cole, & Dodge, 1990; parker & Asher, 1987). Thus, attempts to understand potential contributors to individual differences in social relationships in adolesence are important. Bowlby's attachment theory (1969/82, 1973, 1980) suggests that an individuals' mental representations related to attachment also to feelings, representations, and the processing of information within these relationships. The goalof this study is to increase understanding of how an adolescent's representation of attachment is related to current relationships (with both parents and perrs) as well as to the creation of new relationships. The proposed study is the first to examine the connections between attachment and a variety of social relationships. The questions we propose to ask are listed below. 1. Is attachment related to adolescents' (a) representations of their parents, (b) information processing of parent-relted stimuli, and (c) adolescent-parent behavior? 2. Is attachment related to adolescents' (a) representations of familiar peers, and (b) ongoing peer relationships? 3. Is attachment related to the creation of new relationships in adolescence? Specifically, is attachment related to adolescents' (a) representations of unfamiliar peers, (b) social information-seeking related to unfamiliar peers, and (c) initial behavior with unfamiliar peers? Subjects will be 180 10th-grade students and their mothers and fathers. We will use a multi-method design. Measures will include the Adult Attachment Interview, questionnaire measures, observations of behavioral interaction, peer-, teacher-, and self- reports of social relations and behavior, and experimental information-processing tasks.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
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Human Development and Aging Subcommittee 3 (HUD)
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University of Maryland College Park
Schools of Arts and Sciences
College Park
United States
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Dykas, Matthew J; Woodhouse, Susan S; Jones, Jason D et al. (2014) Attachment-related biases in adolescents' memory. Child Dev 85:2185-201
Jones, Jason D; Cassidy, Jude (2014) Parental attachment style: examination of links with parent secure base provision and adolescent secure base use. Attach Hum Dev 16:437-61
Dykas, Matthew J; Woodhouse, Susan S; Ehrlich, Katherine B et al. (2012) Attachment-related differences in perceptions of an initial peer interaction emerge over time: evidence of reconstructive memory processes in adolescents. Dev Psychol 48:1381-9
Ehrlich, Katherine B; Dykas, Matthew J; Cassidy, Jude (2012) Tipping points in adolescent adjustment: predicting social functioning from adolescents' conflict with parents and friends. J Fam Psychol 26:776-83
Dykas, Matthew J; Ehrlich, Katherine B; Cassidy, Jude (2011) Links between attachment and social information processing: examination of intergenerational processes. Adv Child Dev Behav 40:51-94
Ehrlich, Katherine B; Cassidy, Jude; Dykas, Matthew J (2011) Reporter discrepancies among parents, adolescents, and peers: adolescent attachment and informant depressive symptoms as explanatory factors. Child Dev 82:999-1012
Dykas, Matthew J; Woodhouse, Susan S; Ehrlich, Katherine B et al. (2010) Do adolescents and parents reconstruct memories about their conflict as a function of adolescent attachment? Child Dev 81:1445-59
Woodhouse, Susan S; Ramos-Marcuse, Fatima; Ehrlich, Katherine B et al. (2010) The role of adolescent attachment in moderating and mediating the links between parent and adolescent psychological symptoms. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 39:51-63
Woodhouse, Susan S; Dykas, Matthew J; Cassidy, Jude (2009) Perceptions of secure base provision within the family. Attach Hum Dev 11:47-67
Dykas, Matthew J; Ziv, Yair; Cassidy, Jude (2008) Attachment and peer relations in adolescence. Attach Hum Dev 10:123-41

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