Current attachment styles and attitudes toward motherhood of female college students



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Texas Tech University


The issue of whether and when to have children is no longer a biological given or an unavoidable cultural demand, but a matter of individual choice. Numerous theories have been advanced to explain why women choose to become mothers. Recently, Bowlby's (1969) attachment theory has begun to be applied to populations other than mother-infant dyads. A major assumption of attachment theory is that the quality of individuals' early experiences with a primary caregiver impacts the models they develop of themselves and others in interpersonal relationships. In this study, questionnaires were administered to 127 female college students regarding thefr attitudes toward their parents, peers and motherhood. Correlational analyses, muhiple regression analyses and canonical analyses were used to explore relationships between female students' attachment styles and their feelings about having children. In addhion, relationships between self-esteem, gender role attitudes and feelings about motherhood were explored. Resuhs suggest that current level of peer attachment style is related to desire to have children and the ability to relate to children. Moreover, current level of peer attachment may be more predictive of the desire to have children and perceived ability to relate to children than is current level of parental attachment. The present findings lend partial support to previous findings regarding relationships of attachment style, the desire to have children, and perceived ability to relate to children. Implications of the present findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.