Associations between caregiving and health outcomes among parents of children with mental illness: An attachment perspective

Lisa Farinelli, Laura Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


This study examines the associations between attachment, caregiving, and health outcomes (perceptions of somatic and depressive symptoms) in a sample of 194 parents who have a child with mental illness. Securely attached parents reported using more comforting behavior and tactile communication with their children with mental illness. Parents with a fearful attachment reported using more overinvolved and egocentric caregiving, as well as less tactile communication, and these caregiving behaviors partially mediated a positive association between fearful attachment and both somatic and depressive symptom reports. Parents with a preoccupied attachment style reported using more overinvolved, supportive, egocentric, and emotionally insensitive caregiving behavior, as well as having more depressive symptoms. The association between preoccupied attachment and depressive symptom reports was partially mediated by overinvolved caregiving. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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