Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Serial Multiple Mediation of General Belongingness and Life Satisfaction in the Relationship between Attachment and Loneliness in Adolescents

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Serial Multiple Mediation of General Belongingness and Life Satisfaction in the Relationship between Attachment and Loneliness in Adolescents

Article excerpt

Attachment is defined as the emotional bond a person builds with someone significant in their lives (Ainsworth, 1969, p. 2; Becker-Weidman & Shell, 2010, p. 1; Bridges, 2003, p. 177). During infancy and childhood, bonds are established with parents (or caregivers) who are looked to for protection, comfort, and help. These bonds are sustained throughout the adolescence and adulthood, but are commonly completed through new bonds with people of the opposite sex (Bowlby, 2012, p. 213). One of these bonds shows up in peer attachment. According to Hazan and Shaver (1994, p. 8), if peers perform the same priority functions as one's parents did during infancy and childhood, and if peers satisfy the individual's same needs for support and safety as their parents did, then after a while, the bond of attachment is expected to be transferred from parents to peers. Ainsworth (1969, p. 2; Bowlby, 2012a, p. 135), on the other hand, emphasized that the attachment builds later, whether to parents or peers, and tends to be sustained; this attachment is not a term that implies a temporary relationship or emotional bond. Namely, an attachment figure and the need for a secure personal base are not limited to children. This need is crucial for adolescents and adults (Bowlby, 2012a, p. 134-135). In this respect, Ainsworth (1969, p. 2) stated that attachment may occur at any age and does not refer to immaturity or helplessness. Similarly, Bowlby (1979, p. 129; 2012, p. 166; 2012b, p. 107) emphasized that any formed attachment tends to sustain, and the attachment is a life-long phenomenon lasting from the cradle to the grave. Thus, attachment begun in infancy was determined to last until young adulthood in a longitudinal study by Waters, Hamilton, and Weinfield (2000). In Fraley's (2002) meta-analysis of the results of longitudinal studies on whether attachment lasts from infancy to adulthood, attachment was found to last until adulthood at a stable medium-level.

Bowlby (2012b, p. 14) emphasized that mother-child attachment brings along very powerful affects or emotions like happiness and sadness. Bailham and Harper (2004, p. 49) stated that the interactions between children and their primary caregiver in the first two years of life provide the building blocks for children's relationships. The quality of this relationship in early childhood significantly influences a child's physical, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social development. According to Shaver and Mikulincer (2007, p. 652), children being protected and supported in an attachment relationship helps them function better in non-attachment domains, such as exploration, creative thinking, being empathic towards others, and having prosocial behaviors. Bowlby (2012, p. 158-213) emphasized that the capacity to build relationships with others is considered a basic characteristic of effective personality functions and mental health, and that attachment relationships serve a key role for individual survival. Today, there is sound and impressive evidence that the attachment style an individual develops during infancy, childhood, and adulthood is seriously influenced by the parents' (or caregivers') behavior patterns towards the individual (Bowlby, 2012, p. 162). Ainsworth et al.'s (1978) "Strange Situation" procedure is an example of this (as cited in Bowlby, 2012, p. 218). During this process, children were observed while briefly separated and reunited with their caregivers. In their research, Ainsworth et al.'s (1978) defined three styles of attachment: secure, anxious-resistant, and avoidant. Main and Solomon (as cited in Shorey, 2009, p. 65) later contributed the fourth style: disorganized (Bowlby, 2012, p. 218-219; Shorey, 2009, p. 65). The first is the secure style of attachment. Children develop secure attachments who find themselves in a relationship with their parents that adequately provide sensitive, loving, harmonious, consistent, proper, and accepting care (Howe, 2005, p. …

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