Both autonomy and attachment are positively related to psychosocial adjustment during adolescence. The aim of the present study was to examine the assumption that a high level of autonomy within a context of attachment provides the best constellation for psychosocial adjustment. Subjects were 400 adolescents. Attitudinal, emotional and functional autonomy were connected with attachment to father, mother and peers to predict indices of psychosocial adjustment: social competence, academic competence, self-esteem, problem behaviour and depressive mood. Only main effects of autonomy and attachment were found. There was no evidence for an extra positive effect of being both autonomous and strongly attached.
Copyright 1999 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.