The relationship between parental divorce and adult romantic attachment: Considering factors of parenting style and psychological hardiness

Scott R Meyers, Pace University

Abstract

Parental divorce is prevalent in the United States and has been found to have serious implications for children and adolescents, particularly as they grove into young adulthood and form their own romantic attachments. The author examined a group of adults from a large urban university, who hail from families in which their parents were either divorced or married during their upbringing to find the relationship between parent marital status and romantic attachment styles with a consideration of parenting styles and psychological hardiness. The relationship of parent marital status to both paternal involvement and coparenting were also explored. ^ The sample consisted of 236 participants most of whom were between the ages of 18-23 years old. Participants completed the Psychological Hardiness Scale (PHS), the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and the Multi-Item Measure of Adult Romantic Attachment (MMARA) via an Internet survey website. ^ Results revealed a non-significant relationship between parent marital status and adult romantic attachment. However, participants in the divorced group reported significant parenting style, specifically, father care and mother overprotection. No significant relationship was found between parent marital status and psychological hardiness. While increased hardiness predicted decreased anxious romantic attachment in both groups, increased father care was predictive of increased anxious romantic attachment solely in the divorced group. Additionally, results revealed significant differences associated between parent marital status and paternal involvement as well as parental marital status and coparenting styles. ^ There are several salient implications of our findings such as divorce alters the nature of the potential relationship between parenting style and romantic attachment. Therefore, future research should focus on parenting style variables and especially the role of fathers. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Scott R Meyers, "The relationship between parental divorce and adult romantic attachment: Considering factors of parenting style and psychological hardiness" (January 1, 2007). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3287858.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3287858

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