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Childhood Relationship with Mother as a Precursor to Ageism in Young Adults

Abstract

Separate lines of research have shown that a) relationships with parents in early life influence attachment and b) there is a relationship between attachment and levels of ageism in adulthood. We tested the hypothesis that parent-child relationships during childhood would be related to ageism in young adults either directly or mediated by attachment. We further hypothesized that the predictors of ageism would be similar for men and women. The results of multiple regression analyses indicated that avoidant attachment and negative mother relationship during childhood were significant predictors of ageism. Further, the relationship between negative mother relationship during childhood and ageism was partially mediated by avoidant attachment. The relationship between anxious attachment and ageism was not significant when controlling for avoidant attachment. These results indicate that social development processes occurring in early childhood predict ageism later in life.

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Correspondence to Shelia M. Kennison.

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Kennison, S.M., Byrd-Craven, J. Childhood Relationship with Mother as a Precursor to Ageism in Young Adults. Curr Psychol 39, 1331–1339 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9838-2

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Keywords

  • Parent-child relationships
  • Ageism
  • Young adults
  • Adult attachment