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J Pers. 2010 Aug 1;78(4):1135-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00645.x. Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Adult attachment, dependence, self-criticism, and depressive symptoms: a test of a mediational model.

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Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3180, USA.


Attachment anxiety is expected to be positively associated with dependence and self-criticism. However, attachment avoidance is expected to be negatively associated with dependence but positively associated with self-criticism. Both dependence and self-criticism are expected to be related to depressive symptoms. Data were analyzed from 424 undergraduate participants at a large Midwestern university, using structural equation modeling. Results indicated that the relation between attachment anxiety and depressive symptoms was fully mediated by dependence and self-criticism, whereas the relation between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms was partially mediated by dependence and self-criticism. Moreover, through a multiple-group comparison analysis, the results indicated that men with high levels of attachment avoidance are more likely than women to be self-critical.

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