Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Melanie Leuty

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Vivian Tamkin

Abstract

Secure parental attachment, characterized by trust, care, and autonomy granting, is associated with improved psychological functioning and adjustment to college and is often associated with adult attachment relationships. Similarly, adult attachment, a characteristic of adult relationships, has been associated with improved college adjustment. Individual differences such as dispositional forgiveness and gratitude are often associated with secure adult attachment but have not been examined in relation to parent child attachment. The current study examined dispositional forgiveness and gratitude as moderators of the relationship between parental attachment and adult attachment. A sample of 185 college students participated and as expected, parental attachment inversely predicted anxious and avoidant adult attachment. Further, dispositional gratitude significantly predicted anxious adult attachment. Contrary to hypotheses, results indicated that trait gratitude did not moderate the relationship between parental attachment and adult attachment. Trait forgiveness did not have a significant independent effect on anxious nor avoidant adult attachment but significantly moderated the relationship between parental attachment and anxious adult attachment. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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