The Relationship Between Mother-Child Attachment and Adolescents' Alcohol Consumption and Suicide Attempts

This study examined the relationship between mother-child attachment and adolescents' alcohol consumption and suicide attempts. Public data was used from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health In-Home sample (Wave I, section 2) of 6504 male and female adolescents, in grades 7-12 in the 1994-1995 school year. The results of this research indicated significant negative correlations between mother-child attachment and alcohol consumption (r = -.06, p < .001). Specifically, this study's findings demonstrated that the lower the mother child attachment, the higher the prevalence of alcohol consumption. Follow Up Regression Analysis found that lower mother-child attachment significantly predicted the prevalence of higher levels of alcohol consumption (F (1,3289)= 13.22, p < .001, R2 = .004, β = -.06). Conversely, results found no significant relationship between mother-child attachments and suicide attempt rates (r = -.07, p = .06). Follow up correlation analysis were conducted examining adolescents who reported rating mother-child attachment between "Agree" to "Strongly Disagree" (excluding respondents who reported "Strongly Agree"). Results found a significant negative correlation between mother-child attachment and suicide attempts (r = -.13, p = .003); lower levels of mother-child attachment were significantly related to higher rates of suicide attempts in adolescents. Results clearly emphasized the relevancy of the mothers' role and attachment with children in such maladaptive behaviors as alcohol consumption and suicide attempts. These results highlight the importance of intervening with the family in preventive and therapeutic contexts regarding adolescents' well-being and strengthening their relationship with parents. Keywords: adolescent, attachment, alcohol use, attempted suicide