Early memories of positive emotions and its relationships to attachment styles, self-compassion and psychopathology in adolescence
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European Psychiatric Association
Introduction: Literature has shown that early childhood experiences, especially those related to feelings of threat or safeness play a key role in emotional and social subsequent development. Objectives: (1) examine the impact of early memories of warmth and safeness on quality of attachment in adolescents; (2) Explore the relationship between early positive memories, self-compassion and psychopathology (depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms); (3) Explore the relative contribution of emotional memories and self-compassion in the prediction of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Methods: 651 adolescents (330 boys, 50.7%) aged between 12 and 18 years (M = 15.89, SD = 1.99), completed the early memories of warmth and safeness scale (EMWSS), self-compassion scale (SCS), attachment questionnaire (AQ-C) and anxiety, depression and stress scales (DASS-21). Results: Memories of warmth and safeness showed negative moderate correlations with anxiety and depressive symptoms, and positive moderate association with self-compassion. Additionally, positive emotional memories in childhood revealed adequate discriminant validity for attachment style. Adolescents classified with a secure attachment style showed significantly more early memories of warmth and safeness than those teenagers with insecure attachment (ambivalent or avoidance). Early positive memories and self-compassion have a significant and an independent contribution on the prediction of anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescent community. Conclusions: The present study shows that the recall of emotional memories in childhood (e.g., feelings of warmth and safeness) is associated with self-compassion, as an emotion regulation process. So, these two variables may function as protective factors in the development of depressive and anxiety symptoms in adolescence.
Psychopathology, Self Compassion, Attachment Theory, Early Memories, Early Memories, Metaphor
Cunha, M., Martinho, M. I., Xavier, A. M. e Espirito-Santo, H. (2013). Early memories of positive emotions and its relationships to attachment styles, self-compassion and psychopathology in adolescence. European Psychiatry, 28(Supl. 1), 1. doi:10.1016/S0924-9338(13)76444-7