Intergenerational concordance in Adult Attachment Interviews with mothers, fathers and adolescent sons and subsequent adjustment of sons to military service

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Abstract

The study examined: (1) the intergenerational concordance between parents and their adolescent sons using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) categories and state-of-mind scales; and (2) the contribution of parents' state of mind with respect to attachment to their sons' adjustment during a stressful separation, as well as the possibility that sons' AAI mediates the associations between parents' AAI and sons' adjustment. Eighty-eight adolescents and their parents were interviewed using the AAI during the son's senior year in high school. Approximately a year later, during the first phase of compulsory military service, the adolescents and their peers reported on the sons' adjustment. Results demonstrated AAI correspondence between mothers' (but not fathers) and sons' categories (autonomous versus non-autonomous) and associations between mothers', fathers' and sons' AAI state-of-mind scales. The adjustment of sons of non-autonomous mothers (in particular, preoccupied mothers) was inferior to the adjustment of others. Mothers' and fathers' state of mind scales were associated with sons' adjustment, but sons' AAI did not mediate this association. The uniqueness of adolescence, the importance of parents' state of mind and the differences between mothers and fathers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-390
Number of pages24
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Adolescence
  • Attachment representations
  • Fathers and mothers
  • Intergenerational transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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