Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Attachment theory proposes that caregiving experiences significantly influence children’s socio-emotional development. Interactions with caregivers are internalized as working models of relationships, providing expectations about how to interact with the social world, including future offspring and partners. To contribute to the depth of research on adults, adult attachment classifications were broken down into two dimensions, anxiety and avoidance, to conceptualize attachment in adulthood. Much research has been done that links early relationships to later development, particularly to children’s subsequent experiences in close relationships, including those with their own children. This project examined correlations between attachment-related anxiety and avoidance and aspects of parenting practices and behaviors, as well as the parent-child relationship, in a primarily low-income sample that included parents involved with Child and Family Services. Specifically, participants completed multiple self-report assessments measuring the two attachment dimensions, parents’ coping strategies, parent-child communication and involvement, their understanding of children’s mental states, as well as their own parental satisfaction and perceived support as a parent. Multiple correlations were found that linked attachment avoidance to various outcomes, such as the strategies participants used to cope with their children’s negative emotions. Moreover, there was a strong link between anxiety and avoidance, and the extent to which the parent felt supported in their role. In the field of psychology, the development of maladaptive attachment styles is studied frequently in relation to how adults form and maintain intimate relationships. The current research focuses on the impact the two primary dimensions of attachment can have for parents as they respond and relate to their offspring. This research contributes to the understanding of the ways in which attachment-related anxiety and avoidance experienced in close relationships influence parenting behaviors and parent-child relationships.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 12:00 PM

Attachment in close relationships and its influence on parenting practices

Attachment theory proposes that caregiving experiences significantly influence children’s socio-emotional development. Interactions with caregivers are internalized as working models of relationships, providing expectations about how to interact with the social world, including future offspring and partners. To contribute to the depth of research on adults, adult attachment classifications were broken down into two dimensions, anxiety and avoidance, to conceptualize attachment in adulthood. Much research has been done that links early relationships to later development, particularly to children’s subsequent experiences in close relationships, including those with their own children. This project examined correlations between attachment-related anxiety and avoidance and aspects of parenting practices and behaviors, as well as the parent-child relationship, in a primarily low-income sample that included parents involved with Child and Family Services. Specifically, participants completed multiple self-report assessments measuring the two attachment dimensions, parents’ coping strategies, parent-child communication and involvement, their understanding of children’s mental states, as well as their own parental satisfaction and perceived support as a parent. Multiple correlations were found that linked attachment avoidance to various outcomes, such as the strategies participants used to cope with their children’s negative emotions. Moreover, there was a strong link between anxiety and avoidance, and the extent to which the parent felt supported in their role. In the field of psychology, the development of maladaptive attachment styles is studied frequently in relation to how adults form and maintain intimate relationships. The current research focuses on the impact the two primary dimensions of attachment can have for parents as they respond and relate to their offspring. This research contributes to the understanding of the ways in which attachment-related anxiety and avoidance experienced in close relationships influence parenting behaviors and parent-child relationships.