Differentiating the effects of anxious and avoidant attachment on depression and resilience following trauma


Objective Few studies have explored the impact of insecure attachment on college student mental health. The present study examined how anxious and avoidant attachment to a mother, father, and best friend were related to depression and resilience in emerging adults exposed to trauma. Participants: Participants included 372 trauma-exposed emerging adults, aged 18–24 (M age=19.64, SD = 1.62), from a university in the Midsouth, United States. Method: Participants completed an assessment battery of self-report measures to determine how maternal, paternal, and best friend insecure attachment each uniquely contribute to the variance in depression and resilience. Results: Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that anxious and avoidant attachment to a best friend were associated with lower resilience, but only anxious attachment to a best friend was associated with more depressive symptoms. Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of cultivating healthy relationships in a university setting to foster secure peer attachments for emerging adults exposed to adversity.

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health