Graduation Date

Spring 2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Project Type

Mixed Methods

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Program

Art Therapy

Program Director

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Abstract

Individuals form attachments during the early stages of their lives, with the caregiver serving as their first attachment figure. An individual's attachment style may predict how an individual will react to challenges in life. Responses to challenges may be either adaptive (solution-focused) or maladaptive (solution-avoidant). The objective of this study was to examine how millennial adults demonstrate adaptive coping skills across attachment styles. This unique study explored the relationship between attachment style and coping strategies among five millennial adults. Participants were recruited through convenience sampling via social media and were included if they met the criteria of being a millennial adult. The study consisted of both quantitative and qualitative findings, including questionnaires that examined coping strategies and close relationships. The data was collected online and included: Shortened Ways of Coping-Revised (SWC-R), the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R), and the Bird's Nest Drawing art directive. The results suggest secure attachments are associated with adaptive coping strategies; however, due to the small sample size of this study, these conclusions could not be generalized to the larger millennial population. Future research would benefit from increased sample size, diversification of millennial participants, and formal guidelines for in-person interviews with participants.

IRB Number

S2021-009

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