Attachment and peer relations in adolescence

Matthew J. Dykas, Yair Ziv, Jude Cassidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this investigation was to examine whether adolescent attachment representation (as assessed using the Adult Attachment Interview) is linked to the quality of adolescents' peer relations (as assessed using a standard battery of peer-report instruments tapping adolescents' social behaviors, peer victimization, social acceptance, and sociometric status). As expected, secure/autonomous adolescents were more likely than insecure/dismissing adolescents to be perceived as behaving prosocially, and less likely to be perceived as aggressive, shy-withdrawn, and victimized by peers. Other findings indicated that insecure/dismissing adolescents, compared to secure/autonomous adolescents, were less likely to be socially accepted by their peers. In addition, insecure/dismissing girls, compared to secure/autonomous girls, were more likely to be neglected; no attachment group differences emerged for boys, or for peer rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-141
Number of pages19
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant HD36635 from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development to Jude Cassidy. Portions of this research were presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, 2005. We thank the students who participated in this research. We also thank Laurie Alexander, Wendy Boyer, Melanie Demastus, Mariana Falconier, Jodi Jacobson, Lisa Kiang, Elizabeth Mizerek, Kimberly Odam, Jeremy Rachlin, Jessica Smith, and Jon-Andrew Whiteman for their assistance with data collection. We are grateful to Jeremy Warner and Stephanie Warner for their assistance with computer programming, and to Inbal Kivenson Bar-On, Mindy Rodenberg, June Sroufe, Sue Watson, and Marina Zelenko for coding the interviews used in this study. We also thank Paul Hanges and Susan S. Woodhouse for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.


  • Adolescence
  • Attachment
  • Peer acceptance
  • Peer relations
  • Social behavior
  • Sociometric status
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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