The scientific literature has shown the key role played by attachment to parents and peers and difficulties in recognizing, processing, and regulating emotions (i.e., alexithymia) in the (mal-)adaptive psychological response to the COVID-19 pandemic during late adolescence. No study has yet explored the complex interplay between these variables. We recruited a sample of 454 late adolescents (Mage = 22.79, SD = 2.27) and assessed attachment to parents and peers, alexithymia, and peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19 through self-report instruments. Attachment to fathers and peers, but not to mothers, and alexithymia significantly predicted levels of peritraumatic distress. Alexithymia fully and partially mediated the effect of, respectively, attachment to mothers and attachment to peers on peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19. These findings suggested that intervention programs focused on the promotion of peer social relationships, supportive parent–adolescent relationships, and the ability to recognize and discriminate one’s own and others’ emotions are needed in helping late adolescents to face the current health emergency and preventing short- and long-term psychopathological consequences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Late Adolescents’ Attachment to Parents and Peers and Psychological Distress Resulting from COVID-19. A Study on the Mediation Role of Alexithymia / Tambelli, R.; Cimino, S.; Marzilli, E.; Ballarotto, G.; Cerniglia, L.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 20:18(2021).