The study examined the influence of adolescents' secure attachment to both versus one parent on their psychosocial adjustment in terms of self and parent evaluations of internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems. The sample consisting of 8th grade adolescents (nþinspace}=þinspace}406; 178 girls) aged 12–14 years were classified into four subgroups based on their attachment security to their father and mother. The study aimed to test the differences in internalizing and externalizing problems among the four subgroups- of adolescents with secure attachment to both parents, to only mother, to only father and insecure attachment to father and mother. The results showed that more number of adolescents were classified as securely attached to mothers than to fathers. The group of adolescents who felt securely attached to both parents was psychosocially most well adjusted, while those with insecure attachment to both parents were most vulnerable to maladjustment. In addition, secure attachment only to one's mother and not to one's father was a protective factor against maladjustment, while secure attachment to father alone was not. The study helps to understand how parent-adolescent secure attachment contributed to differences in psychosocial adjustment among these subgroups of normal adolescents.
Gitanjali Natarajan, “Differences in Internalizing and Externalizing Problems Among Early Adolescent Subtypes Based on Attachment Security”, Psychological Studies, vol. 58, pp. 122–132, 2013.