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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


VEPPO, Flávia; PERPETUO, Catarina; RIBEIRO, Olívia  and  VERISSIMO, Manuela. Social acceptance and health behavior: the moderating role of attachment. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.38-44. ISSN 1645-0086.

Although the quality of attachment relationships is important for a healthy development, its effects are still poorly explored with regard to health and social acceptance. This study aimed to analyze whether peer acceptance is associated with adaptive health behaviors for secure and insecure individuals. A total of 205 pre-adolescents completed the Kerns Security Scale, the Child Health and Illness Profile, and a sociometric nomination task. The analyses suggest a moderating effect of maternal attachment on the association between social acceptance and health behaviors: more secure individuals were more accepted by their peers and reported a higher perception of well-being and health behaviors. This moderation effect was not found for paternal attachment. A secure mother-child attachment seems to neutralize the risks related to non-adaptative health behaviors, and a higher level of social acceptance is beneficial as well. Conversely, pre-adolescents with an insecure mother-child attachment showed a low perception of well-being and health, regardless of their degree of social acceptance. These results are discussed in the context of Health Psychology to allow reflection of intervention plans in this area. The promotion of adaptive health behaviors in pre-adolescence should include intervention strategies focused on the parent-child relationship.

Keywords : Attachment; Health behaviors; Social acceptance.

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