Influences of Current Parent-Child Relationships on Young Adults' Romantic Development

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In this study, the supportive nature of the parent-child relationship was examined for how it relates to young adults' romantic development, as measured by indicators of attachment relationship importance and romantic involvement. Attachment and social support theories suggest that parents continue to play an important role as their young adult children form romantic relationships. Prior research has indicated that perceived support from parents is positively related to young adults' expressing attachment relationship importance, as evidenced by attachment motivation and engaging in exploration about romantic relationship topics. Furthermore, support from parents has been negatively related to romantic and sexual involvement. Therefore, ... continued below

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Rader, Heather Noble August 2003.

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  • Rader, Heather Noble

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In this study, the supportive nature of the parent-child relationship was examined for how it relates to young adults' romantic development, as measured by indicators of attachment relationship importance and romantic involvement. Attachment and social support theories suggest that parents continue to play an important role as their young adult children form romantic relationships. Prior research has indicated that perceived support from parents is positively related to young adults' expressing attachment relationship importance, as evidenced by attachment motivation and engaging in exploration about romantic relationship topics. Furthermore, support from parents has been negatively related to romantic and sexual involvement. Therefore, it was believed that support in the parent-child relationship would predict both the indicators of attachment relationship importance and the indicators of romantic involvement in the present study. Additionally, an interaction of parental support and participants' gender was expected for the indicators of attachment relationship importance but not romantic involvement. A sample of 157 women and 144 men, ages 18-22 completed questionnaires. These measures assessed the supportive quality of relationships with each parent and indicators of the young adults' romantic development. For the indicators of attachment relationship importance, results indicated that exploration was predicted by gender and a conflictual relationship with father while motivation was predicted by a supportive relationship with father. Regarding the indicators of romantic involvement, sexual involvement was predicted by gender. Given these unexpected results, the role of parental support in young adults' romantic development continues to appear important, though the nature of its influence needs further research. Theoretical and methodological issues were discussed in light of these findings.

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  • August 2003

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:52 p.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:28 a.m.

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Rader, Heather Noble. Influences of Current Parent-Child Relationships on Young Adults' Romantic Development, dissertation, August 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4296/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .