Associations between the Mother-Child Relationship and Risky Behavior During Adolescence

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Jennifer Weaver


The present study examined quality of attachment and maternal support with the prevalence of risk taking behaviors in adolescence. The study hypothesized that insecure attachment would be associated with higher levels of risk taking behaviors. The study examined data on 1,364 children in 10 sites across the United States as gathered by the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. The sample consisted of 659 females and 705 males. The age range from which the data used in this study were collected was from 36 months until adolescence at the age of 15. Results indicated that higher levels of attachment quality were predictive of higher risk taking behaviors in computer simulated measures of risk taking. Lower levels of attachment quality and aspects of maternal support were not predictive of higher levels of risk taking behaviors. The results contradicted some current literature, while it was consistent with some aspects of attachment theory. Results were considered as the potential product of exploratory behavior during development.

This document is currently not available here.