This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Attachment Dimensions of Closeness, Anxiety, and Dependence and Parent and Peer Relationships in a Population of Adolescents who have Sexually Offended: Are These Associations Mediated by Emotion Regulation?




Stepancich, Lindsay

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Human Development and Family Studies


Adolescent males who sexually offend are at great risk for continuing difficulties in managing emotional arousal, their relationships, and their futures. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between these adolescent’s dimensions of attachment (closeness, anxiety, and dependence), their emotion regulation ability, and their parent and peer relationships. More specifically, this study examines the mediational role of adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation. For this study, 214 incarcerated adolescents completed self-report questionnaires regarding demographic information, attachment to their parents and peers, and both adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation ability. Utilizing path analysis as our chosen method of analysis, we found that adolescents’ attachment dimensions of closeness, anxiety, and dependence is related to adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation, as well as adolescents’ relationships with their peers and parents. This study was the first to test and find that adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation ability mediated the relationship between attachment dimensions of closeness, anxiety, and dependence and relationships with peers.