The study investigated the effects of parental conflict and divorce on attachment security to parents, significant others, and friends and perception of other couples. A total of 115 participants from a small liberal arts college were asked to take a short survey regarding perception of other couples based off of three couple scenarios (positive, negative, and neutral), attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety, parental conflict, and their parents’ relationship status. It was predicted that participants who came from higher parental conflict and/or divorce would have a more negative perception of other couples and have higher attachment avoidance and higher attachment anxiety than those participants who came from lower conflict and/or intact families. The results show that while higher parental conflict and divorce do not have an effect on perception of other couples, it does have an effect on attachment security. Participants who came from higher conflict reported higher attachment avoidance and higher attachment anxiety with both parents. Participants who came from divorce reported higher attachment avoidance with both parents and higher attachment anxiety with their mothers compared to participants who came from intact families.


Garcia, Amber




Developmental Psychology | Social Psychology


divorce, attachment, parental conflict, couple perception, college student

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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