Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson


This study shined light on the gap in literature about the impact of communication and involvement of stepparents has on emerging adult’s romantic attachment styles. A sample of 289 college students between the ages of 18 and 22 at the University of Kentucky was recruited to complete an online survey about their perceived experience with their stepparent and parental figures and the effects on their romantic attachment styles. Parental involvement in children’s lives and having good communication, sets the foundation for individuals to have secure attachment styles. Emerging adults who experience parental figures and stepparents as being uninterested or passive in their relationship experience have higher anxious and avoidant attachment styles. These findings inform therapists about the importance of recognizing attachment injuries when dealing with individuals and supports the need for all parental figures to be involved in their child’s life and have positive communication skills.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)