Insecure attachment and behavioral inhibition (BI) increase risk for internalizing problems, but few longitudinal studies have examined their interaction in predicting adolescent anxiety. This study included 165 adolescents (ages 14-17 years) selected based on their reactivity to novelty at 4 months. Infant attachment was assessed with the Strange Situation. Multimethod BI assessments were conducted across childhood. Adolescents and their parents independently reported on anxiety. The interaction of attachment and BI significantly predicted adolescent anxiety symptoms, such that BI and anxiety were only associated among adolescents with histories of insecure attachment. Exploratory analyses revealed that this effect was driven by insecure-resistant attachment and that the association between BI and social anxiety was significant only for insecure males.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology