Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Work

Degree Level



School of Social Work


Fields, LaShawnda

Committee Member/Reader

Terrell, Amanda

Committee Member/Second Reader

Tyler, Susan

Committee Member/Third Reader

Terrell, Amanda

Committee Member/Fourth Reader

Warren, Ron


Recent research suggests that attachment in adulthood impacts many aspects of an individual’s life, including experiences with romantic partners, emotional regulation, and overall life satisfaction. Research attributes this to the levels of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance individuals experience due to relationship experiences with their caregivers in childhood. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between specific family dynamics and the presence of attachment anxiety and avoidance in adulthood. The present study recruited 185 adults to participate in an anonymous survey about the family dynamics they experienced in childhood, including the relationship between their parents or guardians (married/partnered, divorced, separated), the presence of biological, adoptive, foster, or extended family members in the home, and their self-reported family type (e.g., traditional, two-parent nuclear family, blended family, single-parent family). Multivariate analyses suggest that the relationship between caregivers in childhood influences attachment anxiety and avoidance in adulthood. Implications for further research and social work practice are discussed.


attachment, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, family dynamics, impact of childhood experiences on adulthood

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Social Work Commons