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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Paula Pietromonaco

Second Advisor

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman

Third Advisor

Sally Powers

Fourth Advisor

Lynnette Sievert

Subject Categories

Social Psychology

Abstract

Countless studies have demonstrated the association between attachment styles and depressive symptoms; however, thus far, none have examined concurrent change. That is, does change in attachment style predict change in depressive symptoms over time? This question was examined in a sample of 229 heterosexual newlywed couples from Western Massachusetts. It was found that changes in attachment avoidance in particular predicted changes in depressive and anxious symptoms over time. Being a parent also played a role in participants' overall attachment styles, depressive symptoms and anxious symptoms on average, with differences observed by gender. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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