Perceptions of past and present attachment relationships

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The Ohio State University

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which individuals’ recollections of their attachment relationships during childhood were associated with their present attachment relationships, and how attachment was associated with the willingness to sacrifice for a relationship and psychological well-being. 177 participants completed questionnaires concerning their perceptions of their attachment relationships, their willingness to sacrifice in order to maintain their relationships, and their psychological well-being. Results revealed that perceptions of past attachment relationships with mother, father, and best friend were positively associated with present relationships, including the present relationship with one’s romantic partner. Past and present attachment relationships were positively associated with the willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the relationship with the parent or the best friend, but not with the romantic partner. Finally, higher quality past and present attachment relationships were associated with higher psychological well-being. Results imply that childhood attachment relationships are enduring, and instrumental for present relationship functioning and psychological well-being. Advisor: Dr. Amy Brunell



attachment style, security, willingness to sacrifice, psychological well being