The purpose of this study was to compare the attachment relationships middle school students have with their parents to the attachment relationships they have with their peers. In addition to comparing these attachment relationships, this study investigated the relationship between attachment style and academics. There are three rationales to this study. First, this study adds to existing scholarship on attachment between parent-student and peer-student relationships through the use of the attachment theory. Second, this study enhances the understanding of insecure attachment relationships versus secure attachment relationships and their relationship to students' academic achievement. Third, parents benefit from this study through becoming more knowledgeable about their own attachment relationships, the behavior they choose to use with their children, and the effects it has on them. In this study, middle school students were surveyed using two identical surveys; except one contained a six question section on mother attachment while the other contained a six question section on father attachment. The findings of this study showed that there is a significant relationship between the sex of a student and the likelihood of a student having a secure specific parent and secure general peer attachment relationship. Additionally, there is a significant relationship between the grade in which a student is enrolled and the student's attachment style and the likelihood of having a secure general parent and secure specific parent attachment relationship. Finally, the marital status of a middle school student's parents does not have a significant impact on the student's attachment style or the likelihood of having a secure general parent, secure specific parent, secure general peer, or secure specific peer attachment relationship.


Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies


Interpersonal and Small Group Communication


attachment, middle school, parent attachment, peer attachment, academic involvement, academic achievement, academics, secure attachment, insecure attachment, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, students, attachment theory

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Deidre Lynn Thompson