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Depression and attachment: how do personality styles and social support influence this relation?

Paula Dagnino, Carola Pérez, Adriana Gómez, Sergio Gloger, Mariane Krause
  • Paula Dagnino
    Psychiatry Department, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago; Psychology Faculty, Universidad Gabriela Mistral, Santiago, Chile |
  • Carola Pérez
    Department of Psychology, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
  • Adriana Gómez
    Psychology School, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Sergio Gloger
    Psicomedica Clinical & Research Group, Santiago, Chile
  • Mariane Krause
    Psychology School, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile


The purpose of this study is to improve the current understanding of the relation between depression and attachment through the evaluation of the role of personality styles (dependent vs self-critical) and social support in this association. These variables were studied in a clinical sample of 70 depressed outpatients (83% women; M=41.47 years, SD=12.91). Depressive symptomatology was assessed through the Beck Depression Inventory, adult attachment through the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, social support through the Social Support Questionnaire and dependency and self-criticism through the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire. Mediational and moderation regression analyses were performed. Results show that the association between the dimensions of attachment (anxiety and avoidance) and depression was partially mediated by self-criticism. Furthermore, results demonstrate the role of social support as a moderating variable: when the level of satisfaction with social support was low and the anxiety dimension in the attachment scale was high, as avoidance increased, depressive symptoms increased as well. Results are discussed in relation to their importance for understanding the complex interplay of the variables involved in depression.


Depression; Attachment; Social support; Dependency and self-criticism

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Submitted: 2016-07-12 21:26:45
Published: 2017-04-13 09:42:35
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