The formation of strong attachment bonds in childhood and adolescence has a significant effect on adult self and other concepts operationalized here as self-esteem and hostility. These self-other conceptualizations are posited to facilitate the formation of successful relationships and well-being in adulthood. To determine whether parental separations before the age of 16 years disrupt attachment bonds and subsequent self-other conceptualizations, participants from three naturally formed parental marital status groups were compared on attachment, self-esteem and hostility: divorced parents (N = 622), married parents (N = 7, 424), or divorced but remarried parents (N = 313). Individuals who had divorced or remarried parents had significantly more insecure parental attachment bonds than those with married parents after controlling for demographics, childhood SES, and parental conflict. Parent marital status did not significantly predict self-esteem or hostility. However, secure attachment did predict higher self-esteem and lower hostility in all groups. Supplementary analyses showed that parental divorce paired with high levels of parental conflict predicted more insecure attachment bond.
School of Science and Technology
Morton, Kelly R.
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Psychology; Parent-Child Relations; Object Attachment
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Hewett, Julia A., "Parental Divorce, Attachment, and Self-Other Conceptualization" (2010). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 3.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives