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Emotional well-being of the first-year university students: family functioning and attachment styles

Amado, Suzi
The present study aimed to reveal the effect of family functioning, attachment styles in romantic relationships, and city of origin on the emotional well-being of first year university students. 286 first-year university students from the Department of Basic English at Middle East Technical University participated in the study. They completed a demographic information sheet, the McMaster Family Assessment Device, the short-form Version of Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Hopelessness Scale. ANOVAs were run to find out if there are significant differences in the emotional well-being of participants with different cities of origin and gender. To assess if there are significant differences in the emotional well-being between participants with different attachment styles and cities of origin, ANCOVAs (Gender as the covariate factor) were conducted. Finally, regressions were run to find out the relationship between demographic variables, attachment styles, family functioning, and emotional well-being of first-year university students. The participants who moved to Ankara when they started university were found to report more depressive symptoms than the participants who had been living in Ankara. Further significant differences were observed in the depression and hopelessness levels of participants with different attachment styles. In general, those participants having fearful attachment styles tended to have more depressive symptoms and hopelessness as compared to those having secure and preoccupied attachment styles. Regression analyses revealed that absence of secure attachment style, fearful attachment style, and problems in affective responsiveness in the family were associated with symptoms of depression. Gender, fearful attachment style, and communication problems in the family were found to