Depressive symptoms in young adults: The role of attachment orientations and romantic relationship conflict

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Abstract

Although romantic involvement in adulthood has generally been associated with enhanced well-being, some aspects of adults' romantic relationships (e.g., maladaptive conflict behaviors) have been linked with depressive symptoms. In order to better understand the role of romantic involvement in well-being, the present study examined links among attachment orientations, conflict behaviors with romantic partners, and depressive symptoms in an undergraduate sample of young adults (N = 110). Correlational analyses generally supported the hypothesized links. When a regression series was applied to the data in order to determine whether young adults' conflict behaviors serve as a mediator in the link between their attachment orientations and depressive symptoms, mediation was not supported. Instead, results supported a model wherein attachment orientations and conflict behaviors (attacking) were independent predictors, explaining unique variance in young adults' depressive symptoms. Findings underscore the importance of considering specific aspects of young adults' romantic relationships in the prediction of their depressive symptoms and illuminate the role attachment orientations and conflict behaviors in their depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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