Parental bonding and mental health in adolescence

Laura Canetti*, Eytan Bachar, Esti Galili-Weisstub, Atara Kaplan De-Nour, Arieh Y. Shalev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Attachment between parent and child plays a crucial role in the healthy development of the child. Accordingly disturbances in parental bonding will be linked with the development of mental disorders later in life. The present study examines the relationship between parental bonding and mental health in healthy adolescents. Participants were 847 Israeli high school students who completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the General Well-Being (GWB), the Perceived Social Support (PSS) and the Social Desirability scale (SDS). In general, Israeli adolescents reported more parental care and less control than did Australian adolescents and adults. Female subjects reported more maternal care than did males. Subjects who reported high care and low control (optimal bonding) reported less distress, better general well-being and better social support than did all other groups In contrast, those who reported low care and high control (affectionless control bonding) had the highest BSI scores and the lowest GWB and PSS scores. These results are in line with Bowlby's theory of attachment. They also show that specific configuration of parental bonding are linked with distress and isolation in adolescents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)380-394
Number of pages15
Issue number126
StatePublished - Jun 1997


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