Relationship between parenting, alexithymia and adult attachment styles: a cross-national study in Sicilian and Andalusian young adults

Monica Pellerone, Ivan Formica, Monica Hernandez Lopez, Simona Migliorisi, Riccardo Granà

Abstract


Background: Literature underline that attachment styles can be considered as an important factor that facilitates exploration of the self and environment, and influences individual’s thoughts, feelings and behavior, above all during adolescence.


The purposes of the present study were the following: to investigate the relation between parenting, alexithymia and adult attachment styles; to measure the predictive variables of the adult attachment-related anxiety and avoidance, and the predictors of the level of alexithymia.


Method: The participants were 217 students, of which: a group of 97 Andalusian academic students (44.7%), aged between 18 and 29 (M = 19.47; SD = 2.23); a group of 120 students from Sicilian academic students (55.3%), aged between 18 and 23 (M = 18.85; SD = 1.11).


The participants were assigned to complete the following questionnaires: the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and the Experience in Close Relationships.


Results: Findings suggest that there are differences between Italy and Spain in adult attachment styles: in particular, Italian students appeared to manifest a higher tendency to use the avoidance style than Spanish ones, which manifested a higher level of anxiety. Furthermore, belonging to the Andalusian culture, and above all, having an elevated perception of the paternal and maternal overprotection could represent possible predictive variables to the general level of alexithymia.


Conclusions: The results of this study support the research hypothesis that alexithymia is associated with the perceived parental bonding and attachment style.


Keywords


Parenting; Alexithymia; Adult attachment; Spain; Italy

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6092/2282-1619/2017.5.1557

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