Research has demonstrated that parent-adolescent attachment security and school connectedness are protective factors that buffer teens from risk for substance use, depression, and suicidality. However, past research has examined these factors independently, and little is known about how secure attachment and school connectedness work in conjunction to reduce adolescent risk. The present study examined the moderating role of school connectedness on the relationship between parent-adolescent attachment security and substance use, depression, and suicidality among at-risk adolescents drawn from a clinical sample (N = 480; 60.5% female; Mage = 14.86). Findings indicated that for both females and males with a secure attachment, school connectedness made a positive impact to reduce symptoms of depression and suicidality, respectively. Similarly, for males with attachment avoidance, school connectedness weakened the impact of attachment avoidance on suicidality. However, for females with attachment anxiety, school connectedness was unable to reduce symptoms of depression.
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Thesis advisor: Moretti, Marlene
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