Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


The purpose of this study was to better understand how adult attachment networks impact coping and current psychological functioning. The college student participants (n = 183) completed self-report questionnaires including modified versions of the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) and the Relationship Structures (RS) to assess attachments in the mother, father, romantic partner, and best friend relationships; the Attachment Strength (AS) questionnaire designed for this study to measure the use of attachment functions; the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS); and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R®). Results indicated that attachment networks can be comprised of various attachment styles with more avoidance behaviors in the parental relationships and more anxiety of abandonment in romantic relationships. As expected, the networks do appear to be hierarchical with the importance of the relationship being correlated to the use of attachment functions. The global anxiety and avoidance across the network resulted in differences for social diversion and emotion coping, and all 12 variables of psychological symptoms. Partial support was found for the presence of a single secure relationship moderating the detrimental effects of an insecure network. In addition, the specific impacts of the parental as well as the romantic relationships were examined. Possible explanations for these results are discussed and suggestions for further investigation are made.


Attachment behavior, Stress (Psychology) Research, Adjustment (Psychology) Research, Interpersonal relations

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2006, author