The Effect of Attachment on the Association Between Familial Dysfunction and Recidivism and Aggression in a Sample of Adolescent Offenders: Testing a Moderated-Mediation Effect

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Dean, Robyn




The main purpose of this study was to determine if familial dysfunction exerts gendered and indirect effects on general recidivism or aggression (relationally-driven aggression and indirect aggression) through attachment style. This question was tested using a cross- sectional and longitudinal design with a sample of justice-involved youth (211 males, 101 females). Overall, results indicated that attachment did not mediate the effect of familial dysfunction on general recidivism or relationally-driven aggression and that gender did not moderate this relationship. Interestingly, there was evidence to support the indirect effect of familial dysfunction on indirect aggression through preoccupied attachment but only for males. If future research replicates these results, preoccupied attachment should be implemented as a male-specific treatment target for practitioners and as a screening tool for risk assessment developers.


Psychology - Experimental




Carleton University

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