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Attachment to parents: the mediating role of inhibition of exploration and individuality on health behaviors.

Paredes AC, et al. Fam Syst Health. 2014.

Abstract

This study's goal was to analyze whether the quality of university students' relationship with their parents mediated the association between mental health and physical symptoms and health behavior. Participants were 250 university students (66% female and 34% male), aged between 17 and 29 years old (M = 20.88, SD = 2.03) that answered the Father/Mother Attachment Questionnaire (FMAQ), the Physical Symptoms Scale from the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), the Health Behavior Questionnaire (HBQ), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The results showed that the indirect effect of physical symptoms on health behavior was significantly mediated by the father's and mother's inhibition of exploration and individuality (IEI). Also the indirect effect of psychological distress on health behavior was significantly mediated by the father's and mother's IEI. These results suggest that young adults who had more restrictions to their individuality show worse health behaviors. Separation Anxiety and Dependence (SAD) and Quality of Emotional Bond (QEB), the other 2 attachment scales, were not mediators of the relationship between physical symptoms/psychological distress and health behavior. This study shows the importance of promoting positive parenting practices that contribute to healthier behavior choices and less risky behaviors, as well as the need for more studies that clearly identify these practices in young adult populations.

PMID

24417653 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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