ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine psychological paths in which perceived childhood emotional bonding with both mother and father predict depressive mood through images of self and adult attachment patterns for college students. A total of 589 undergraduate students from four universities across nation, whose biological parents are still in marriage, participated in this study. Results indicated that self-esteem and adult attachment anxiety and avoidance fully mediated the relationships between emotional bonding with both parents and depressive mood, respectively. These findings suggest that children who received more sensitive and adequate care and love from both parents are likely to have more positive mental representations of self and more secure adult attachment patterns, which in turn likely contribute to more symptoms of depression for college students. Particularly noteworthy finding of this study is that paternal bonding in childhood can affect self-esteem and secure adult attachment patterns not only in association with maternal bonding but also by itself. Furthermore, fathers make an impact on cognitive, social, emotional development of their children not only by direct interactions with them but also through indirect cooperative relationship with their spouses. Wives who feel loved and cared by their husbands are more likely to dedicate themselves to their children’s growth. Limitations and future directions of this study were followed by a variety of clinical and educational suggestions from the findings of this study.

KEYWORD

attachment, emotional bonding, mental representations, self-esteem, depression of college students

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