ERIC Number: ED475260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Perceptions of Parent-Child Attachments: Relationships with Explanatory Style and Empathy.
Webster, David R.
This study investigated the theoretical concept of attachments to parents as having pervasive influence on psychological adaptation into young adulthood. Specifically, traditional-age college students' perceptions of separate attachments to their mothers and fathers were related to students' elf-reported explanatory style and empathy. Using a survey methodology, data were collected and analyzed from 362 college students who attended a Midwestern university. Results of a multiple regression supported the hypothesis that parental attachments, assessed by the Inventory of Parent Attachments, were positively related to explanatory style. Davis' Interpersonal Reactivity Index was used to assess cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. The hypothesized relationship between Mother Attachment and empathy was partially supported: Mother Attachment was positive related to perspective-taking and empathic concern. However, Father Attachment was negatively related to personal distress. Unexpectedly, personal distress emerged as the single best predictor of positive-negative explanatory style. Participants' written responses on the Attributional Style Questionnaire were qualitatively analyzed. Six attributional themes were identified, which, when analyzed, revealed notable gender differences. (Contains 40 references and 14 tables.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association (110th, Chicago, IL, August 22-25, 2002).