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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00239

Attachment, social value orientation, sensation seeking, and bullying in early adolescence

  • 1Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
  • 2Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca, Italy
  • 3Università degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy

In this study, bullying is examined in light of the “prosocial security hypothesis”— i.e., the hypothesis that insecure attachment, with temperamental dispositions such as sensation seeking, may foster individualistic, competitive value orientations and problem behaviors. A group of 375 Italian students (53% female; Mean age = 12.58, SD = 1.08) completed anonymous questionnaires regarding attachment security, social values, sensation seeking, and bullying behaviors. Path analysis showed that attachment to mother was negatively associated with bullying of others, both directly and through the mediating role of conservative socially-oriented values, while attachment to father was directly associated with victimization. Sensation seeking predicted bullying of others and victimization both directly and through the mediating role of conservative socially-oriented values. Adolescents’ gender affected how attachment moderated the relationship between sensation seeking and problem behavior.

Keywords: Attachment, Social value orientation, Bullying, early adolescence, sensation seeking

Received: 20 Jul 2017; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Ilaria Grazzani, Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca, Italy

Reviewed by:

Valeria Cavioni, University of Pavia, Italy
Antonio Dellagiulia, Università Pontificia Salesiana, Italy
Annalaura Nocentini, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Innamorati, Parolin, Tagini, Santona, Bosco, De Carli, Palmisano, Pergola and Sarracino. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Marco Innamorati, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy, innamorati@gmail.com