Early parenting and attachment experiences : the association with adult affective symptoms

Webster, Lucy Ann

July 2010

Thesis or dissertation

© 2010 Lucy Ann Webster. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This portfolio has three parts:-Part one is a systematic literature review, in which the empirical literature relating to factors mediating the relationship between experiences of parenting and offspring adult depression is reviewed. A prior review demonstrated consistent results showing a predicting relationship between recalled adverse parenting experiences and adult depressive symptomology (Rappe, 1997). As the previous review did not consider factors that may be mediating this relationship,studies examining various potential mediating factors were reviewed in the present article. This systematic literature review identifies mediating variables within themes of cognition, standard setting and evaluation, personality, dissociation and current relationships. The nature of the relationship between experiences of early parenting and offspring adult depressive vulnerability is discussed with reference to the background research area. Clinical and research implications are also addressed.Part two is an empirical paper, which examines the relationships between attachment style and forms and functions of self-criticism and social risk taking. The literature base suggests there may be interactions between these concepts, as well as in their potential association with symptoms of depression and anxiety, therefore the present study also examines the relative contribution of the aforementioned factors to depression and anxiety symptoms in a normal population sample. Finally, the relationship between childhood experiences of care and abuse and adult attachment style is also examined. Results indicate some supporting evidence for the links between attachment style and forms/functions of self-criticism, as well as the predicting relationship between adverse childhood experiences and insecure attachment style. Further results suggest that variables are generally more associated with anxiety,early parenting and attachment experiences symptoms rather than depressive symptoms. Limitations of the present study are discussed, with recommendations for future research within the field.Part three comprises the appendixes, which include a personal reflective statement regarding the research process.

Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
Lam, Dominic
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