Term of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Janice H. Kennedy

Committee Member 1

Gary McClure

Committee Member 2

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Abstract

The degree of continuity over time in the quality of parent-child attachments and the relationship between these attachments and current self-esteem was investigated. Subjects were 218 nonparent, college students under the age of 28 years. The attachment working model styles were determined by modified versions of two attachment measures. The Mother-Father-Peer Scale (Epstein, 1983) yielded separate scores for independence-encouraging and acceptance, and the Rocky Mountain Survey (Hazan & Shaver, 1987) indicated secure, avoidant or ambivalent attachment patterns. Self-esteem was measured by the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1967). Data collected indicated support for Bowlby's (1988) theory of continuity over time of attachment. Self-esteem was related to both childhood and adulthood working model styles of attachment and to the dimensions of independence-encouraging and acceptance. The two attachment measures were related. Subjects who classified their parent-child attachment as secure rated their parents as high in independence-encouraging and acceptance.

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