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Association between attachment and mental health symptoms among school-going adolescents in Northern Uganda: the moderating role of war-related trauma

James Okello, E Nakimuli-Mpungu, Seggane Musisi, Eric Broekaert and Ilse Derluyn UGent (2014) PLOS ONE. 9(3).
abstract
Background: The association between attachment and mental health symptoms in adolescents in a post-conflict low resource setting has not been documented. Methods: We investigated the relationship between parent and peer attachment and posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in a sample of 551 adolescents aged 13-21 years old. Attachment quality was assessed using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA). Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Impact of Events Scale Revised (IESR) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist for Adolescents (HSCL-37A) respectively. Gender differences in attachment relationships were determined using independent t-tests. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess whether attachment relationships were independently associated with posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the moderating role of war-related trauma. Results: Our analyses revealed gender differences in attachment to parents, with males reporting stronger attachment than females. Parental attachment was protective against depression and anxiety symptoms but not posttraumatic stress symptoms after adjusting for potential confounders. Alienation by parents was independently associated with an increase in these mental health symptoms while peer attachment was not associated with any of these symptoms. However, in situations of severe trauma, our analyses showed that peer attachment was significantly protective against post-traumatic stress symptoms. Conclusions: Secure parental attachment is associated with better psychosocial adjustment in adolescents affected by war. Further, adolescents with secure peer attachment relationships in situations of severe war trauma may be less likely to develop posttraumatic stress symptoms. Interventions to enhance peer support in this post conflict setting would benefit this vulnerable population.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
CHILD SOLDIERS, PEER ATTACHMENT, DEPRESSION, RISK, INVENTORY, EXPOSURE, VIOLENCE, PARENT, AFGHANISTAN, PERSPECTIVE
journal title
PLOS ONE
volume
9
issue
3
article number
e88494
pages
7 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000332839300006
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
3.234 (2014)
JCR rank
9/57 (2014)
JCR quartile
1 (2014)
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0088494
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4338458
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4338458
date created
2014-03-18 11:17:46
date last changed
2016-12-21 15:42:01
@article{4338458,
  abstract     = {Background: The association between attachment and mental health symptoms in adolescents in a post-conflict low resource setting has not been documented.
 
Methods: We investigated the relationship between parent and peer attachment and posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in a sample of 551 adolescents aged 13-21 years old. Attachment quality was assessed using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA). Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Impact of Events Scale Revised (IESR) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist for Adolescents (HSCL-37A) respectively. Gender differences in attachment relationships were determined using independent t-tests. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess whether attachment relationships were independently associated with posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the moderating role of war-related trauma.
 
Results: Our analyses revealed gender differences in attachment to parents, with males reporting stronger attachment than females. Parental attachment was protective against depression and anxiety symptoms but not posttraumatic stress symptoms after adjusting for potential confounders. Alienation by parents was independently associated with an increase in these mental health symptoms while peer attachment was not associated with any of these symptoms. However, in situations of severe trauma, our analyses showed that peer attachment was significantly protective against post-traumatic stress symptoms.
 
Conclusions: Secure parental attachment is associated with better psychosocial adjustment in adolescents affected by war. Further, adolescents with secure peer attachment relationships in situations of severe war trauma may be less likely to develop posttraumatic stress symptoms. Interventions to enhance peer support in this post conflict setting would benefit this vulnerable population.},
  articleno    = {e88494},
  author       = {Okello, James and Nakimuli-Mpungu, E and Musisi, Seggane and Broekaert, Eric and Derluyn, Ilse},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keyword      = {CHILD SOLDIERS,PEER ATTACHMENT,DEPRESSION,RISK,INVENTORY,EXPOSURE,VIOLENCE,PARENT,AFGHANISTAN,PERSPECTIVE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {7},
  title        = {Association between attachment and mental health symptoms among school-going adolescents in Northern Uganda: the moderating role of war-related trauma},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088494},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2014},
}

Chicago
Okello, James, E Nakimuli-Mpungu, Seggane Musisi, Eric Broekaert, and Ilse Derluyn. 2014. “Association Between Attachment and Mental Health Symptoms Among School-going Adolescents in Northern Uganda: The Moderating Role of War-related Trauma.” Plos One 9 (3).
APA
Okello, J., Nakimuli-Mpungu, E., Musisi, S., Broekaert, E., & Derluyn, I. (2014). Association between attachment and mental health symptoms among school-going adolescents in Northern Uganda: the moderating role of war-related trauma. PLOS ONE, 9(3).
Vancouver
1.
Okello J, Nakimuli-Mpungu E, Musisi S, Broekaert E, Derluyn I. Association between attachment and mental health symptoms among school-going adolescents in Northern Uganda: the moderating role of war-related trauma. PLOS ONE. 2014;9(3).
MLA
Okello, James, E Nakimuli-Mpungu, Seggane Musisi, et al. “Association Between Attachment and Mental Health Symptoms Among School-going Adolescents in Northern Uganda: The Moderating Role of War-related Trauma.” PLOS ONE 9.3 (2014): n. pag. Print.