Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 17–29 | Cite as

The extent and function of parental attachment among first-year college students

  • Maureen E. Kenny
Article

Abstract

The extent and function of the parent-child bond, conceptualized according to Ainsworth's (M.D.S. Ainsworth, M. C. Blehar, E. Walters, and S. Wally [1978],Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation, Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ) model of attachment, was explored for a group of first-year college students (N=173) at a selective, prestigious, northeastern university. Overall, students' descriptions of their parental relationships were positive and resembled Ainsworth's secure attachment type. Most students viewed their parents as a secure base, encouraging independence and remaining available as a source of support when needed. Furthermore, students indicated that they sought parental help more than a moderate amount in situations of stress. For female students, close parental relationships were found to be positively associated with self-reports of assertion.

Keywords

College Student Health Psychology School Psychology Female Student Moderate Amount 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ainsworth, M. D. S., and Bell, S. M. (1974). Mother-infant interaction and the development of competence. In Connolly, K., and Bruner, J. (eds.),The Growth of Competence. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Walters, E., and Wally, S. (1978).Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  3. Arend, R. A., Grove, F., and Sroufe, L. A. (1979). Continuity of early adaptation: From attachment in infancy to ego resiliency and curiosity at age 5.Child Develop. 50: 950–959.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnett, R., and Baruch, G. K. (1978).The Competent Woman. Irvington Publishers, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Baruch, G. K., and Barnett, R. (1983). Adult daughters' relationships with their mothers.J. Marriage Family 45: 601–606.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, N. J., Avery, A. W., Jenkins, D., Feld, J., and Schoenrock, C. J. (1985). Family relationships and social competence during late adolescence.J. Youth Adolesc. 14: 109–119.Google Scholar
  7. Bell, R. Q. (1979). Parent, child and reciprocal influence.Am. Psychol. 34: 821–826.Google Scholar
  8. Bloom, M. V. (1980).Adolescent-Parental Separation. Gardner Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Blos, P. (1967). The second individuation process of adolescence.Psychoanal. Study Child 72: 162–186.Google Scholar
  10. Bowlby, J. (1969).Attachment and Loss: Vol. I. Attachment. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Broverman, I. K., Vogel, S. R., Broverman, D. M., Clarkson, F. E., and Rosenkrantz, P. S. (1972). Sex-role stereotypes: A current reappraisal.J. Social Issues 28: 59–78.Google Scholar
  12. Chickering, A. W. (1969).Education and Identity. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  13. Cohler, B., and Geyer, S. (1982). Psychological autonomy and interdependence within the family. In Walsh, F. (ed.),Normal Family Processes. Guilford Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Douvan, E., and Adelson, J. (1966).The Adolescent Experience, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Dowling, C. (1981).The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence. Simon & Schuster, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Elson, N. (1964). The reactive impact of the adolescent and family upon each other in separation.J. Am. Acad. Child Psychol. 3: 669–708.Google Scholar
  17. Erikson, E. (1968).Identity: Youth and Crisis. W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Freud, A. (1969). Adolescence as a developmental disturbance. In Kaplan, G., and Lebovici, S. (eds.),Adolescence: Psychosocial Perspectives. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Greenhouse, J. (1976).Family Separation Process of Residential College Freshmen Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  20. Haley, J. (1973).Uncommon Therapy. W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Haley, J. (1980).Leaving Home. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Hartup, W. (1979). The social worlds of childhood.Am. Psychol. 34: 944–950.Google Scholar
  23. Hazen, C., and Shaver, P. (1985, August).Romantic Love Conceptualized as an Attachment Process. Paper presented at the 93rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  24. Kestenbaum, C. J. (1978). Separation problems: Some practical considerations in the assessment and treatment of adolescent girls with separation problems.J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal. 6: 353–363.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kurash, C. (1979). The transition to college: A study of separation-individuation in late adolescence.Dissertation Abstracts International, 4488-B. (University of Microfilms No. 8006449).Google Scholar
  26. Levenson, R. W., and Gottman, J. M. (1978). Toward the assessment of social competence.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 46: 453–468.Google Scholar
  27. Main, M. (1983). Exploration, play, and cognitive functioning related to infant-mother attachment.Infant Behav. Develop. 6: 167–174.Google Scholar
  28. Marcus, R. B. (1978). Adjustment to the empty nest period in middle class, suburban mothers.Dissertation Abstracts International, 16330-B.Google Scholar
  29. Margolis, M. (1981). Moving away: Perspectives in counseling anxious freshmen.Adolescence 16: 633–640.Google Scholar
  30. Medalie, J. (1981). The college years as a mini-life cycle: Developmental tasks and adaptive options.J. Am. College Hith. Assoc. 30: 75–79.Google Scholar
  31. Moore, D., and Hotch, D. F. (1981). Late adolescents' conceptualizations of home leaving.J. Youth Adolesc. 10: 1–10.Google Scholar
  32. Murphy, E., Silber, E., Coehlo, G., Hamburg, D., and Greenberg, I. (1963). Development of autonomy and parent-child interaction in late adolescence.Am. J. Orthopsychiatr. 33: 643–652.Google Scholar
  33. Offer, D., and Offer, J. (1975).From Teenage to Young Manhood. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Pipp, S., Jennings, S., Shaver, P., Lamborn, S., and Fischer, K. (1985). Adolescents' themes about the development of their relationships with parents.J. Personal. Social Psychol. 48: 991–1001.Google Scholar
  35. Rutter, M. (1980).Changing Youth in a Changing Society. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  36. Shaver, P., and Rubinstein, C. (1980). Childhood attachment experiences and adult loneliness. In Wheeler, L. (ed.),Review of Personality and Social Psychology. Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.Google Scholar
  37. Stierlin, H. (1981).Separating Parents and Adolescents. Jason Aronson, New York.Google Scholar
  38. Sullivan, K., and Sullivan, A. (1980). Adolescent-parent separation.Develop. Psychol. 16: 93–104.Google Scholar
  39. Troll, L., and Bengston, V. (1979). Generations in the family. In Burr, W., Hill, R., Nye, F., and Reiss, I. L. (eds.),Contemporary Themes About the Family, Volume 1: Research Based Theories. Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  40. Troll, L., and Smith, J. (1976). Attachment through the life span: Some questions about dyadic bonds among adults.Human Develop. 19: 156–170.Google Scholar
  41. Waters, E., Wippman, J., and Sroufe, L. A. (1979). Attachment, positive affect, and competence in peer groups: Two studies in construct validation.Child Develop. 50: 821–829.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen E. Kenny
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology in Education, Graduate School of EducationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations