Attachment, Family Dysfunction, Parental Alcoholism, and Interpersonal Distress in Late Adolescence: A Structural Model

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Abstract

Parental attachment was hypothesized as a mediational variable, explaining the relationship between parental alcoholism, family dysfunction, and the expression of interpersonal distress. Undergraduate students (N = 152) were administered questionnaires to assess parental attachment, parental alcoholism, family dysfunction, and interpersonal distress; structural analysis was used to specify the relations among measured constructs. Parental alcoholism was not a significant predictor of attachment to parents or interpersonal distress; however, the mediating role of parental attachment was evident when family dysfunction was examined. As the level of family dysfunction increased, participants reported less parental attachment and more interpersonal distress. Viewing parental attachment as a mediator has important implications for theory and clinical practice.

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