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Title: Exploring the relationships between attachment, epistemic trust, and expectations of helping relationships in adolescents
Author: Reches, T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 8933
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Aims: Prior research has shown a relationship between attachment and help-seeking among young people. The current study aims to explore the association between attachment and the initial stage of the help-seeking process. This initial stage can be understood as young people’s expectations of helping relationships in the context of the social network and in the specific context of the therapeutic environment. The study also aims to explore the role of Epistemic Trust (ET) as a potential mechanism underpinning this relationship. / Method: 79 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 were recruited from community and clinical settings. Participants completed a trust game on the computer and a battery of instruments including an epistemic trust measure and self-report questionnaires on parent and peer attachment, expectations of relationships and expectations of therapy. / Results: A series of correlation analyses showed that attachment to both parents and peers was a predictor of expectations of help in the context of the social network and therapy. Mediation analysis showed that ET mediated the relationship between attachment to parents and the expectation to receive instrumental help from the social network. No other evidence was found to support our mediation hypothesis. / Conclusions: The results are consistent with previous research and attachment theory. Individual differences in attachment were shown to affect young people’s expectations of helping relationships. Future research is needed to develop standardised tools to measure ET and to further explore the mechanisms that may contribute to the observed relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available