Attachment and Coping Resources

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William J. Lyddon

Advisor Department



This research explored the interrelationship between attachment to significant caregivers and partners and coping resources. One hundred adult clients attending a university training clinic completed the Relationship Questionnaire, the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Brief Symptom Inventory, and the Coping Resources Inventory. Securely attached people were found to be significantly less stressed and demonstrated higher levels of coping resources; results of a canonical correlation indicated that secure attachment, higher parental care, and lower parental overprotection were significantly associated with higher coping resources. Some support was found for continuity of attachment among persons who recalled the most and least optimal parenting. The significance of these findings for understanding the role of attachment in emotional self-regulation are that receiving early care may be more important than being encouraged to develop autonomy, and securely attached individuals may interpret life events as less stressful and may be better equipped to respond to stressful events. Clinical implications are that fearfully attached clients are likely to have the fewest coping resources and to be at particular risk for premature termination.