Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica (Jan 2009)

Attachment, conflict and self-esteem in adolescents from intact and divorced families / Apego, conflito e auto-estima em adolescentes de famílias intactas e divorciadas

  • Catarina Pinheiro Mota,
  • Paula Mena Matos

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 3
pp. 344 – 352


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This study aimed to analyze the differential contribution to adolescent's self-esteem concerning family structure (intact and divorced families), interparental conflict, and attachment to parents and peers. The sample consisted of 403 adolescents, aged from 14 to 19. Univariate ANOVA showed that family structure does not predict self-esteem, but adolescents from intact families with higher levels of interparental conflict presented lower self-esteem. Parental attachment patterns derived from cluster analysis and based on Bartholomew bi-dimensional model were associated with self-esteem, namely, with higher levels for adolescents with a secure style. An ANOVA showed no moderation role in predicting adolescents' self-esteem, when attachment to parents and peers were considered as independent factors. On the other hand, multiple regression results indicated that high quality bonds to parents and peers are predictors of self-esteem.