The effect of interpersonal touch during childhood on adult attachment and depression: A neglected area of family and developmental psychology?

Mika S. Takeuchi, Hitoshi Miyaoka, Atsuko Tomoda, Masao Suzuki, Qingbo Liu, Toshinori Kitamura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Interpersonal touch has been little studied empirically as an indicator of parent- and peer-child intimacy. Undergraduate students (n = 390) were studied using a questionnaire survey regarding the frequencies of interpersonal touch by father, mother, same-sex peers, and opposite-sex peers during preschool ages, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, and grades 7-9, as well as their current attachment style to a romantic partner and current depression. A path model indicated that current depression was influenced significantly by poorer self- and other-images as well as by fewer parental interpersonal touches throughout childhood. Other-image was influenced by early (up to grade 3) parental interpersonal touch. Our findings suggest that a lower frequency of parental touching during childhood influences the development of depression and contributes to a poorer image of an individual's romantic partner during later adolescence and early adulthood.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-117
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan



    • Attachment
    • Depression
    • Interpersonal touch

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies

    Cite this