Attachment, self, and parental acceptance-rejection in relation to adolescent personality
Luft, Gary A.
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Based on a model derived from attachment theory, self psychology, parental acceptance-rejection theory, and a psychoanalytic persective on gender issues, the interrelationships between late adolescents' perception of past attachment to parents, perception of present attachment to parents, perception of past rejection by parents, perception of self, and perception of the impact of relationship disruptions were examined. A sample of 666 college students completed a series of items that assessed their perceptions of present and past attachment to parents, of past rejection by parents, and of themselves. As predicted there was a positive association between present perception of attachment to parents (college years) and perception of past acceptance by parents (high school years). A positive association was also found between perception of relationship disruptions and negative self-concept. A prediction about a negative association between pressent perception of attachment to parents and negative self-concept was also supported. A prediction about the interaction of attachment to other and attachment to father in relation to self-perceived levels of dependency was not tested because of the inadequacy of the dependency measure. In the present study the dependency measure was not related to the other variables in a manner that was conceptually consistent with the theoretical definitions of dependency. Implications for theory and further research are discussed.