Intrapsychic and Attachment Influences on Adolescent Romantic
Erin M. Miga, Joseph P. Allen, Amanda Hare
University of Virginia
This study was made possible by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health awarded to Joseph P. Allen, Principal Investigator
( Grant # R01-MH58066)
Insert your information here METHOD Attachment Anxiety & Jealousy
Participants & Procedure
Data were collected from a multi-method, multi-reporter, longitudinal study of adolescent development
Background in the context of peer and family relationships. Teen Physical Abuse
93 target adolescents (42% male, 40% minority) and close peers were first interviewed at age 14.3 .52**
Establishing an independent identity is crucial to forging new roles (Time 1), teens interviewed at age 15(Time 2), teens and romantic partners at age 18(Time 3) and teens
and developing mature romantic relationships (Erikson, 1968) interviewed at approximate age 20(Time 4)
Teen Self worth: Teen Romantic
Various facets of one’s identity or “self-concept”: Age 15 Jealousy: Age 20
Median family income: $40, 000
Self efficacy vs. Self worth: what is the difference? Close peers reported having known teens for 4.35 years- Couples had been dating an average of 15
Self worth: a feeling of self-regard, self-respect, and belief in one’s -.38** .50***
Measures Teen Anxious
Adolescent Problem Inventory (Freedman et al., 1978). Teens answered probes eliciting their
Attachment: Age 18 Total R2=.25***
expectations on efficacy in being able to respond in a competent fashion regarding hypothetical
•implicated in internalizing disorders and insecure attachment situations of peer interpersonal conflict.
(Sharpsteen, 1995) and mixed results regarding the relationship Figure 1. Mediating effects of teen romantic attachment anxiety. Direct effects of Teen
Chronic Jealousy Scale (White, 1984). Teens reported on their tendency to experience interpersonal
between self-worth and romantic relationship satisfaction (Cramer, jealousy, and primarily focuses on experience of jealousy in romantic relationships.
Self worth on Teen Jealousy = -.35** [***p<.001 **p<.01, *p<.05] 1 Standardized beta weight after
addition of mediator. Gender and Income included as covariates of mediator and outcome variables.
Multi-Item Measure of Adult Romantic Attachment (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998). Teens reported
on their own degree of attachment anxiety that they generally experience in romantic relationships.
Self efficacy: belief in one’s ability to accomplish a particular goal in a
competent fashion Relationship Experiences Questionnaire (Levesque, 1990). Romantic partners reported on the degree
of teen’s open communication, toleration and patience, and possessiveness in their current romantic
•implicated in deviant behavior, psychotherapy success, and social Self worth : an important intrapsychic construct that may heighten one’s
Self Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988). Peers reported on the teen’s degree of self worth,
relations (Allen, Aber, & Leadbeater, 1990). which is a subscale drawn from a larger measure of adolescent self perception. risk of being more possessive and jealous in romantic relationships across
Little research conducted on how interpersonal self efficacy relates to
romantic outcomes, particularly over time. Self efficacy: may serve as a protective factor for future romantic
outcomes. A stronger belief in one’s interpersonal efficacy appears to be
RESULTS actualized-in that these individuals are in fact engaging in healthier
relationship patterns, characterized by adaptive communication and
acceptance, four years later.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS Lastly, our mediating model suggests that threats to self worth may lead
Self Worth & Romantic Jealousy Self Efficacy & Romantic Outcomes an individual to become increasingly reliant on his or her romantic
relationship as a means of self validation, which may lead them to exhibit
The current study uses hierarchical regression analyses & FIML to address the following questions:
Partner report of more jealousy and maladaptive behavior if they perceive their relationship is
Partner Report of Mutual being threatened.
1. Does a higher general self worth predict more -.23*
at age 18 .29*
at age 18
adaptive romantic outcomes 4-6 years later? Peer Report of Teen
Teen Report of Self
Self Worth at age 14 Efficacy at age 14
-.27* .40*** Partner report of
Teen Report of Reciprocal
2. Does teen self efficacy similarly predict more Jealousy Communication
Allen, J. P., Leadbeater, B. J., & Aber, J. L. (1990). The relationship of adolescents' expectations and values to delinquency, hard drug use, and
unprotected sexual intercourse. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 85-98.
at age 20
adaptive romantic outcomes in early adulthood? at age 18 Brennan, Clark, Shaver (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment. In J.A. Simpson & W.S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment Theory and
Close Relationships, (46-76). New York: Guilford Press.
Cramer, D.(2003). Acceptance and need for approval as moderators of self-esteem and satisfaction with a romantic relationship or closest
1. Peer report of higher teen self worth at age 14, predicts lower levels of both 1. Teen report of higher self efficacy in negotiating peer relations at age 14, friendship. Journal of Interdisciplinary and Applied Psychology, 137(5), 495-505.
teen possessiveness in romantic relationships at age 18, and jealousy at age predicts higher levels of both relationship toleration and adaptive
3. Does attachment anxiety help to explain the 20. communication in teen’s romantic relationships at age 18.
Erikson, E. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
Freedman, B. J., Rosenthal, L., Donahoe, C.P., Schlundt, D. G., & McFall, R. M. (1978). A social-behavioral analysis of skill deficits in delinquent
possible relationship between self worth and future and non-delinquent boys. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48, 1448-1462.
Harter, S. (1988). Manual for the self-perception profile for adults. Unpublished manuscript. University of Denver, CO.
romantic outcomes? Levesque, R.J.R. (1993). The Romantic Experience of Adolescents in Satisfying Love Relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22(3),
Note. *p < .05 ** p < .01. N =93. Final Beta weights are presented above for analyses Sharpsteen, D. J. (1995). The effects of relationship and self-esteem threats on the likelihood of romantic jealousy. Journal of Social and Personal
Relationships, 12(1), 89.
covarying gender and total income. White, G. & Mullen, P. (1989). Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Clinical Strategies. New York: The Guilford Press.