Male teenagers in residential-care (RC) show high rates of externalizing problems, such delinquent behaviors. Research findings underlined that peer attachment may have a protective role on the social adjustment of adolescents, while higher levels of alexithymia —defined as an emotional regulation disorder (Taylor, 2004)— may be a risk factors for externalizing problems. Due to their previous adverse experiences, RC adolescents may show difficulties in both, although they live with peers. As no study done it before, this pilot study investigated the associations among peer attachment, alexithymia and externalizing and delinquent problems in 21 boys aged 13-18 years (M = 16.33, SD = 1.4) placed in residential-care. Measures were: 1) the Youth Self Report 11/18 (YSR) to measure Externalizing problems and delinquent behaviors; 2) the Inventory of Peer and Parent Attachment (IPPA) to assess the levels of Peer attachment, and 3) The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) to detect alexithymia. Results showed expected associations among higher levels of alexithymia and Externalizing (rs = .447, p = .04) and delinquent (rs = .464, p = .03) problems, which show unexpected positive correlations also with peer attachment (Externalizing: rs = .600, p = .009; delinquent: rs = .629, p = .005). In addition, a multiple regression accounted only peer attachment as predictor of higher levels of externalizing problems (adjusted-R2 = .36 p = .005) and delinquent behaviors (adjusted-R2 = .32 p = .009). Authors discussed the potential utility to monitoring the quality of peer-attachment in potentially high-risk contexts like residential ones, whereas it may elicit or perpetuate delinquent conducts among adolescents instead of promoting social adjustment. The role of attachment and emotional regulation for residential adolescents psychopathology is deepen investigate into this larger study, using also clinical interviews such FFI and TSIA.

Externalizing problems and delinquent behaviors in residential-care male adolescents: associations with peer attachment and alexithymia

Stefania Muzi;Fabiola Bizzi
2018

Abstract

Male teenagers in residential-care (RC) show high rates of externalizing problems, such delinquent behaviors. Research findings underlined that peer attachment may have a protective role on the social adjustment of adolescents, while higher levels of alexithymia —defined as an emotional regulation disorder (Taylor, 2004)— may be a risk factors for externalizing problems. Due to their previous adverse experiences, RC adolescents may show difficulties in both, although they live with peers. As no study done it before, this pilot study investigated the associations among peer attachment, alexithymia and externalizing and delinquent problems in 21 boys aged 13-18 years (M = 16.33, SD = 1.4) placed in residential-care. Measures were: 1) the Youth Self Report 11/18 (YSR) to measure Externalizing problems and delinquent behaviors; 2) the Inventory of Peer and Parent Attachment (IPPA) to assess the levels of Peer attachment, and 3) The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) to detect alexithymia. Results showed expected associations among higher levels of alexithymia and Externalizing (rs = .447, p = .04) and delinquent (rs = .464, p = .03) problems, which show unexpected positive correlations also with peer attachment (Externalizing: rs = .600, p = .009; delinquent: rs = .629, p = .005). In addition, a multiple regression accounted only peer attachment as predictor of higher levels of externalizing problems (adjusted-R2 = .36 p = .005) and delinquent behaviors (adjusted-R2 = .32 p = .009). Authors discussed the potential utility to monitoring the quality of peer-attachment in potentially high-risk contexts like residential ones, whereas it may elicit or perpetuate delinquent conducts among adolescents instead of promoting social adjustment. The role of attachment and emotional regulation for residential adolescents psychopathology is deepen investigate into this larger study, using also clinical interviews such FFI and TSIA.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1004252
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