Simona Guarino, Laura Vismara

Mental state of attachment and reflective function in a group of antisocial adolescents

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: antisocial behaviour, attachment, adolescence, life events, emotional-behavioral functioning.

The research objective was to evaluate models of attachment and reflective function within a group of adolescent offenders, compared to a group of non referred adolescents. 15 antisocial adolescents were compared to 17 non referred adolescents. The Stressful Life Events (Giannantonio, 2003), the Youth Self Report 11/18 - YSR (Achenbach and Rescorla, 2001), the Attachment Interview for Childhood and Adolescence - AICA (Ammaniti, Candelori, De Coro, Muscetta, Ortu, Speranza, Tambelli and Zampino, 1990), to which the Reflective Function Scale was applied (Fonagy, Steele, Steele and Target, 1998), were administered to all subjects. Significant differences between the two groups were shown as regards models of attachment (Fisher exact test, mid-p correction = 0.0357) and reflective function scores, significantly lower among adolescent offenders (t = 4.44; df = 1; p < .001). In addition, these adolescents referred a higher number of traumatic events during their childhood and greater difficulties in managing aggressive impulses. The study shows the importance to analyze the developmental pathway to antisocial behaviour within the framework of attachment theory.

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