Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Michael Nielsen


This study was conducted to explore the connections between parental personality traits, adult attachment styles, and attachments to God. The personality traits of parents influence the level of care they are able to provide for their children; this impacts the child’s attachment style. Later in life, attachment styles influence friendships, romantic relationships, and even relationships with the divine through the correspondence pathway. How we view God is thus indirectly impacted by the personality traits of our parents. One-hundred forty-two undergraduate students participated in the study, answering various measures for perceived parent personality, attachment, and religiosity. All measurements were replicated from a study done in 2002 by Rowatt and Kirkpatrick, and resulting correlation and regression models showed partial replications of the original study. The perceived parent personality trait of extraversion was found to predict anxious attachment to God, as well as many other interesting correlations between perceived parent personality and view of God, religiosity, and attachment. Further studies should explore the influence of parent personality on secure and insecure attachment to God, as well as the validity of the correspondence pathway.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 16, 2025