Perceptions of parental and peer attachments by women with mood disorders

J Abnorm Psychol. 1994 Nov;103(4):637-44. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.103.4.637.


The relationship between perceptions of parental and peer attachments at various ages and adult mood disorders was examined in 156 women classified as having bipolar disorder or unipolar depression or as nonpsychiatric controls. Nonpsychiatric controls reported a decreased attachment to their parents over time, but they also reported an increased closeness to their mothers in adulthood following a distant adolescence. Never hospitalized, moderately depressed subjects showed a similar trend toward decreased relatedness, but moderately depressed subjects did not report reestablishment of a close relationship with their mothers after adolescence. Severely depressed and bipolar subjects reported little attachment to their mother at all ages. Bipolar subjects also reported little connectedness to their fathers throughout their lifespan and severely depressed women felt less attached than nonpsychiatric controls to peers during development. None of the psychiatric groups reported difficulties with parental overcontrol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Object Attachment*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Peer Group*