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Gratitude: A Resilience Factor for More Securely Attached Children

Gratitude: A Resilience Factor for More Securely Attached Children Research on the association between childhood attachment and depressive symptoms has primarily focused on the role of risk factors. This resulted in a lack of research on the role of potential resilience factors. In the current study, we suggest that middle childhood secure attachment is linked to adolescents’ trait gratitude, which is linked to the enhanced resilience against the development of depressive symptoms in adolescence. In a longitudinal study, we measured 157 children’s (9–12 years old, 48% boys) attachment appraisals (anxiety, avoidance, and trust), attachment representations (secure base script knowledge, and coherence) and depressive symptoms at baseline, and gratitude and depressive symptoms at follow-up two years later. Results supported our hypotheses that middle childhood attachment was robustly linked with adolescent trait gratitude. Moreover, trait gratitude indirectly linked middle childhood attachment avoidance, trust, and secure base script knowledge to change in depressive symptoms over time. These findings may help explain why more securely attached children are less likely to develop depressive symptoms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Child and Family Studies Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020
ISSN
1062-1024
eISSN
1573-2843
DOI
10.1007/s10826-020-01853-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Research on the association between childhood attachment and depressive symptoms has primarily focused on the role of risk factors. This resulted in a lack of research on the role of potential resilience factors. In the current study, we suggest that middle childhood secure attachment is linked to adolescents’ trait gratitude, which is linked to the enhanced resilience against the development of depressive symptoms in adolescence. In a longitudinal study, we measured 157 children’s (9–12 years old, 48% boys) attachment appraisals (anxiety, avoidance, and trust), attachment representations (secure base script knowledge, and coherence) and depressive symptoms at baseline, and gratitude and depressive symptoms at follow-up two years later. Results supported our hypotheses that middle childhood attachment was robustly linked with adolescent trait gratitude. Moreover, trait gratitude indirectly linked middle childhood attachment avoidance, trust, and secure base script knowledge to change in depressive symptoms over time. These findings may help explain why more securely attached children are less likely to develop depressive symptoms.

Journal

Journal of Child and Family StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 11, 2020

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