Attachment Avoidance and Depressive Symptoms: A Test of Moderation by Cognitive Abilities
The substantial interpersonal and economic costs of depression make it imperative to better understand the predictors and moderators of depressive symptoms. The ability to use social support protects people from depressive symptoms, but individuals high in attachment avoidance tend not to use others as sources of support. Research has found that attachment avoidance is related to depressive symptoms in some samples but not in others (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007; Shea, 2011). Thus, there appear to be factors that moderate the relationship between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms. The present study examined if cognitive abilities that facilitate effective emotion regulation strategies moderate the relationship between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms. Using a sample of college students, attachment avoidance, cognitive abilities, depressive symptoms, and other indices of psychological distress and well-being were measured and examined for evidence of moderation via hierarchical linear regression. The hypothesis that cognitive abilities moderate the relationship between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms was not supported (ΔR2 = 0.02, p = .68). Factors contributing to the null findings are discussed and conceptual and methodological suggestions are offered for future research.
Rand, Purdue University.
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