Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2011

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Attachment, Adoption, Parent-child, Relationships

Abstract

This study examined whether adopted adolescents’ attachment to their adoptive parents predicted attachment experiences in close relationships outside one’s family during emerging adulthood. Data were taken from the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project, a longitudinal study of 190 adoptive families followed for three time points (target adoptee’s childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood). Parental attachment was assessed through the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA: Armsden & Greenberg, 1987), and hierarchical linear modeling allowed for calculations of the average and discrepancy of attachment to each adolescent’s parent dyad. Using the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire (ECR: Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998), attachment style in emerging adulthood was evaluated in terms of the level of avoidance and anxiety in close relationships. While avoidance in close relationships was predicted by dyadic parental attachment, anxiety was not. Congruent with expectations, less avoidance was associated with stronger parent dyad attachments. Additionally, older age appeared to predict less avoidance in close relationships. These findings demonstrate the important contribution of adoptive parent-child relationships for later relationships.

First Advisor

Harold D. Grotevant

Share

COinS