Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Suzanne Lease

Committee Member

Dr. Douglas Strohmer

Committee Member

Dr. Richard James

Committee Member

Dr. Chrisann Schiro-Geist


Previous research conducted in Western cultures has shown a link between parenting behaviors and subsequent depression. Insecure attachment styles have also been related to depression, and are conceptually linked to parenting behaviors. Several studies suggest that attachment mediates the relationships between childhood experiences and later psychological functioning. However, these relationships have not been examined in Middle Eastern cultures that are defined as collectivist and patriarchal. Therefore, this study examined the relationships among parenting behaviors, attachment, and depression in a sample of young Jordanian adults and tested whether attachment mediates the parenting behavior – depression relationship. The study also tested whether the mediated relationships would differ by parental gender. In contrast to previous findings, neither the authoritarian nor the authoritative parenting styles were directly related to the dependent variable of depression in the current sample. However, authoritarian parenting was negatively related to the secure attachment style (Confidence in Self and Others) and positively related to insecure attachment. The attachment measure scales were all correlated with scores on the measure of depression. The Confidence scale (associated with secure attachment) was negatively correlated with depression. The remaining insecure attachment scales were positively correlated with scores on the measure of depression. The attachment scales did mediate the parenting style – depression relationships, primarily the Confidence in Self and Others and Preoccupation scales. Father’s parenting styles had more indirect effects on depression than mother’s parenting styles. The results of this study suggest that parenting styles can predict depressive symptoms in a sample of young Jordanian individuals, but only indirectly through how they affect their children’s adult attachment styles. Results from this study suggest that western-based measures can be used although interpretations must consider collectivist versus individualist society differences on the early childhood influences that form subsequent adult attachments. As clinicians in Jordan develop a greater understanding for attachment patterns or styles, they may better understand the etiology of psychiatric disorders, especially depressive disorders. For future research, it may be beneficial to examine parenting styles or care-giving practices in the Middle East not just by parent gender, but also by gender of the child.  


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.