Emotional dependency in youth: Relationship with anxious and depressive symptoms, self-esteem and gender differences

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Abstract
Emotional dependency consists of a pattern of unsatisfied emotional needs that are maladaptively met with other people, which may lead to the onset of dysfunctional psychological symptoms. This study aims to analyse emotional dependency in young people with and without a romantic partner, gender differences in emotional dependency, as well as to assess the relationship between emotional dependency and self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Five-hundred and thirty-five university students aged 18 to 31 years participated in this study. Results showed that emotional dependency was negatively related to self-esteem and positively related to and predictive of anxious-depressive symptoms. No significant differences were found in total emotional dependency as a function of gender or of having a romantic relationship. Nevertheless, higher scores were found in males for ‘Need to please’, in participants with a partner for ‘Need of exclusivity’, and in participants without a partner for ‘Avoiding being alone’. These results extend our knowledge about emotional dependency and its consequences in young people.
Year of Publication
2017
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
23
Issue
1
Number of Pages
6-11
Date Published
jan
Publisher
ISSN Number
1134-7937
URL
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1134793716300537
DOI
10.1016/j.anyes.2016.11.003