Perceived family environment and symptoms of emotional disorders: The role of perceived control, attributional style, and attachment

Kathleen Newcomb Rekart*, Susan Mineka, Richard E Zinbarg, James W Griffith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Findings from decades of research suggest that a perceived lack of parental care and overprotection are positively related to later symptoms of emotional disorders in children and adolescents. The present study used a cross-sectional design to evaluate models investigating reported family environment during childhood, current attachments, control-related cognitions, and current symptoms of emotional disorders in adolescence. It was hypothesized the effect of a perceived controlling and rejecting family environment during childhood would influence current depression and anxiety, and that these effects would be partially accounted for by the quality of current attachments, perceived control, and attributional style. A sample of 234 university students was assessed. Regression analyses of variables, including analyses of indirect effects, were conducted. As predicted, current attachment, perceived control, and attributional style helped to account for relationships between some family variables, and depression and anxiety. Findings are discussed with respect to the interplay of family variables and models of emotional disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-436
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Attributional style
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Parenting
  • Perceived control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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