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Attachment Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Middle Childhood: the Role of Repetitive Thinking about Negative Affect and about Mother

Research paper by Magali Van de Walle, Patricia Bijttebier, Caroline Braet, Guy Bosmans

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 13 Jun '16Published in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment



Abstract

Two studies with two independent samples aimed to investigate whether repetitive thinking about negative affect (RTna) and repetitive thinking about mother (RTm) can be mechanisms in the association between attachment anxiety and depressive symptoms in middle childhood. In Study 1 (N = 381) and Study 2 (N = 157) 9- to 12-year-olds completed self-report questionnaires measuring attachment, RTna and depressive symptoms. In Study 2, additionally, a questionnaire was developed to measure RTm, and a compound score for self- and mother-reported depressive symptoms was calculated. Results showed positive associations between attachment anxiety, RTna and RTm, and self-reported depressive symptoms and depressive symptoms agreed upon by mother and child. RTna and RTm mediated the relationship between attachment anxiety and these depressive symptoms. RTm mediated this relationship even beyond RTna for the multi-informant compound score. Thus, RTna and RTm seem to be independent mechanisms explaining the association between attachment anxiety and depressive symptoms in middle childhood.