A validation and extension of the Inventory of Parental Representations

Salam Soliman, Pace University


For many young adults, attending a university is one of the first major life transitions (Ladsley & Edgerton, 2002). The young adult must often physically separate from parents, confront identity and career options, and manage important daily responsibilities that accompany the collegiate lifestyle. It is now recognized that separation-individuation issues (Rice, 1992) as well as dysfunctional relationships with parents may underlie many of the presenting problems often seen in university counseling centers (Bartholomew & Thompson, 1995). A problem often encountered in understanding attachment and/or the internal representation a young person has of his or her parents is that interview measures are extensive and time-consuming and self-report measure give only a limited view of the object as good or bad and the relationship as positive or negative. Hart (1992) developed a self-report instrument, the Inventory of Parental Representation (IPR), which has been shown to accurately classify attachment in a large sample of high school students in one of seven categories, five of which are considered insecure attachments. The aim of this study was to expand the population on which the measure has been validated to include college-aged adolescents and adults and to show convergent validity of the measure. Two hundred and sixteen college students filled out questionnaires assessing their recollections of their relationship with their parents as well as their current relationships. Questionnaires included the IPR, the Inventory of Peer and Parent Attachment (IPPA) (Armsden & Greenberg, 1987) and the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Results of the study show the IPR to be a valid instrument for assessing parental representations and their attachment correlates. Importantly, it yields six parental representations providing information about the degree and nature of an individual's attachment or internal representations of parents. It was found that the IPR predicted scores on the IPPA and the RQ.

Subject Area

Psychological tests|Developmental psychology|Personality

Recommended Citation

Soliman, Salam, "A validation and extension of the Inventory of Parental Representations" (2006). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3223938.



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