Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Family Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jason Hans

Abstract

Using an attachment theory perspective, variation in adult romantic attachment style outcomes were examined according to childhood experiences of parental divorce and residential instability. The sample was comprised of 172 individuals in the young adulthood developmental stage that were recruited using snowball sampling via online social networking. Participants completed an online survey containing the 36-item Experiences in Close Relationships scale and 28 author-developed items. The majority of the sample reported stable and predictable living arrangements as children. Those whose parents had divorced reported higher levels of parental conflict during their childhood than those whose parents had never divorced or separated. There was no statistical difference on adult romantic attachment style score between individuals who experience parental divorce or separation and those who did not. Parental conflict and stability of residence patterns did not have a statistically significant impact on attachment avoidance or anxiety. For participants whose parents had divorced or separated, conflict, residential stability, and time with nonresidential parent statistically improved the predictive ability of attachment anxiety. Specifically, time with nonresidential parent moderated adult romantic attachment anxiety.

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