Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6491

Date

2019

Date of Award

7-23-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Psychology

Committee Chair

Kathryn Howell

Committee Member

Meghan McDevitt-Murphy

Committee Member

Xu Jiang

Abstract

Insecure attachment negatively impacts mental health, but research is unclear regarding which attachment figure and what type of insecure attachment (i.e. anxious or avoidant) is most closely associated with psychopathology. The present study examined how anxious and avoidant attachment to a mother, father, best friend, and romantic partner was related to depression and resilience. Participants included 372 emerging adults, age 18-24 (Mage=19.64, SD=1.62), from a University in the Midsouth, who endorsed the loss of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or an extreme illness or injury as their most traumatic life event. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that both anxious and avoidant attachment to a best friend were associated with lower resilience, but only anxious attachment to a best friend was associated with more depressive symptoms. Results highlight the importance of cultivating healthy relationships in a university setting to foster secure peer attachments for emerging adults exposed to adversity.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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