Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Michael R. Lewin


According to the American College Health Association 31.3% of college students reported feeling depressed. Early parental attachment forms an internal working model that is used as reference for later relationships and experiences. Past research suggests that parental attachment is associated with depression. Low self-esteem was found to mediate the relationship between parental bonding (low care and overprotection) and depression. The cognitive schemas of defectiveness and shame were found to meditate the relationship between poor parental bonding and depression. Among cancer patients the relationship between anxious attachment and symptoms of depression was mediated by perceived social support.

Research is necessary to further understand the negative outcomes of insecure parental attachment as it relates to depression. Purpose of study is to simultaneously examine three potential mediators (shame, social support, and self-esteem) of the attachment and depression relationship. The results of the current study suggest that the relationship between insecure parental attachment and depression is indirect with shame, social support, and self-esteem each serving as mediators of this relationship.