Parental Marital Status and Perceived Parental Marital Stability as Predictors of Avoidant Attachment Style in Young Adult Romantic Relationships
Undergraduate Honours Theses
The purpose of the present study was to determine whether parental marital status and perceived marital stability were predictors of avoidant attachment in young adult romantic relationships. It was hypothesized that young adults from intact stable marriages will have the least avoidant attachment style (securely attached), while young adults of intact unstable marriages will have the most avoidant attachment style. It was also hypothesized that the young adult children of divorce will have variable avoidance levels. There were 238 participants in the present study (18-30 years old). Participants completed a Qualtrics survey which included a demographic measure and a revised version of the Adult Attachment Scale (AAS) (Collins & Read, 1990). Two separate 2 X 2 analysis of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted, the first for parental marital status and participant relationship status, the second for perceived parental marital stability and participant relationship status. The first ANOVA demonstrated a significant main effect for marital status, with young adults with married parents reporting significantly lower avoidance scores than those from divorced households. There was also a significant main effect for relationship status, demonstrated by participants in a committed relationship displaying the lowest avoidance scores. The second ANOVA demonstrated a significant main effect for perceived parental marital stability, with participants from an intact stable marriage reporting significantly lower avoidance scores than those from an intact unstable marriage. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
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Thesis Advisor(s): Dr. Christine Tsang