The role of attachment style in interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective(s): This study examined changes in depressed adolescents' reports of attachment anxiety and avoidance with interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-A), and the relationship between attachment style and change in depression with IPT-A. Method: Forty adolescents (aged 12–17) participated in a 16-week randomized clinical trial of 4 adaptive treatment strategies for adolescent depression that began with IPT-A and augmented treatment for insufficient responders (n = 22) by adding additional IPT-A sessions (n = 11) or the antidepressant medication, fluoxetine (n = 11). Adolescents were 77.5% female and 22.5% male (mean age = 14.8, SD = 1.8). Ten percent of adolescents were Latino. Racial composition was 7.5% Asian, 7.5% American Indian/Alaska Native, 80.0% white, and 5.0% biracial. Measures of attachment style (Experience in Close Relationships Scale—Revised [ECR-R]) and depression (Children's Depression Rating Scale—Revised [CDRS-R]) were administered at baseline and Weeks 8 and 16. Results: Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance (ECR-R) decreased significantly from baseline to Week 16. Baseline Avoidance positively predicted greater reductions in depression (CDRS-R), controlling for fluoxetine. Reductions in Anxiety and Avoidance were also significantly associated with reductions in CDRS-R, controlling for fluoxetine. Conclusions: Adolescents' reports of attachment anxiety and avoidance are amenable to intervention with IPT-A. IPT-A may be particularly beneficial for adolescents who report a high level of avoidant attachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

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Psychotherapy
Depression
Fluoxetine
Anxiety
Asian Americans
Hispanic Americans
Antidepressive Agents
Randomized Controlled Trials
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • attachment
  • child psychotherapy
  • depression
  • outcome research

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Cite this

The role of attachment style in interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents. / Gunlicks-Stoessel, Meredith L; Westervelt, Ana; Reigstad, Kristina M; Mufson, Laura; Lee, Susanne S.

In: Psychotherapy Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, 02.01.2019, p. 78-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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