The Role of Attachment in Language Brokering and Psychological Well-being among College Students

Robert S. Weisskirch, Shu-Sha Angie Guan, Vanja Lazarevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging adult (EA), college students from immigrant families continue engaging in language brokering (LB), translating documents and other media for their parents, in ways that can affect their well-being. For these language brokers, the relationship between parental attachment and psychological well-being may be through frequency and perceptions of their LB work. In this study, 459 language brokers ( M age = 21.36, Female = 80%) completed an online questionnaire about frequency and perceptions of LB, attachment, and psychological well-being. Attachment anxiety and avoidance had negative indirect effects on anxiety and somatic symptoms through feelings of LB burden. Attachment anxiety had a negative indirect effect on somatic symptoms through LB intrusiveness. There were negative indirect effects of LB burden on attachment avoidance to anxiety and somatic symptoms. There was a negative indirect effect of LB intrusiveness on attachment avoidance to somatic symptoms. Findings indicate that perceptions of LB may relate to psychological well-being when attachment is insecure.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Family Issues
StatePublished - Mar 13 2020


  • attachment
  • emerging adults
  • language brokering
  • psychological well-being

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