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20-06-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2016

Different Effects of Paternal and Maternal Attachment on Psychological Health Among Chinese Secondary School Students

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2016
Auteurs:
Yangu Pan, Dajun Zhang, Yanling Liu, Guangming Ran, Zhaojun Teng

Abstract

Many studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of parental attachment on adolescent development. However, few studies have specifically investigated the different effects of paternal attachment and maternal attachment on adolescent development. The current study examined the different effects of paternal attachment and maternal attachment on adolescent psychological health (e.g., self-esteem, depression, life-satisfaction), and the moderating roles of gender, age, and one-child status. Participants were 1506 secondary school students (50.2 % male, grades 7–12) from six regions of China. Results suggested that paternal attachment had stronger effects on adolescents’ depressive symptoms than did maternal attachment after controlling for all covariates (e.g., family setting, gender, grade, one-child status, father’s and mother’s education levels). Moreover, multi-group analysis indicated that the stronger impact of paternal attachment on depressive symptoms in comparison to maternal attachment was only evident in high school boys and only children. This study demonstrated the important role of father–adolescent attachment in adolescent psychological health. Future research, clinical implications, and limitations of the present study are discussed.

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