Ambivalent Attachment and Depressive Symptoms: The Role of Romantic and Parent-Child Relationships

W. Steven Rholes, Jeffry A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In recent years, an increasing amount of attention has been devoted to investigating the interpersonal origins of depression and depressive symptoms. Guided by attachment theory and interpersonal models of depression, we describe a diathesis-stress model that has guided our research on how romantic attachment orientations (or styles) are associated with depressive symptomatology. The model presented in this article suggests that when anxious-ambivalent people experience stressful events, they display specific perceptual and behavioral reactions that lead to depressive symptoms. Studies that provide empirical support for parts of the model are discussed. In addition to describing the psychological processes that might exacerbate depressive symptoms in highly ambivalent individuals, the model also identifies novel "pathways" to depression and briefly introduces new theoretical concepts-the constructs of dysfunctional relationship attitudes and relationship deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


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