Graduation Date

5-2021

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Primary Major

Psychology

Program Director

LeeAnn Bartolini, PhD

Thesis Advisor

Veronica Fruiht, PhD

Abstract

Parents play a critical role in helping children develop into happy and well-adjusted adults. Factors such as secure attachment, parental rearing behaviors, and parental personality all interact to create a developmental context that impacts a child’s experience. Attachment between parent and child, for instance, is the foundation of later relationships in life. However, a variety of other parent factors including parental rearing behaviors and parenting style can influence attachment (Roelofs et al., 2006). Parenting styles that are nurturing, authoritative, and emotionally involved have not only demonstrated more secure attachments in children but have also been reflective of parents who score higher in extraversion and openness to experience (Metsäpelto & Pulkkinen, 2003). The present study seeks to examine the relationship between parental personality, adult children’s attachment to parental figures, and how these factors ultimately influence subjective well-being. The sample included 115 individuals ages 18-65 recruited through various social media outlets. Participants completed a survey that combined an adapted version of the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999), the short scale of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (Hills & Argyle, 2002) and the short form of the Adult Scale of Parental Attachment (Michael & Snow, 2014). Results indicated that adult children who perceive their parents as high in extraversion, high in openness, and low in neuroticism are more likely to be securely attached and score higher in well-being. This research bridges the gap in attachment research by identifying its relationship with parental personality and how this ultimately affects children’s well-being in adulthood while providing further insight into parental factors that can influence well-being.

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