Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

David E. Szwedo

Abstract

This study seeks to identify the impact of one’s family-of-origin experiences on future young adult romantic relationships. It is hypothesized that greater conflict within parental and parent-teen relationships will predict poorer future romantic relationship outcomes. These associations will be mediated by anxiety, insecure attachment, and poorer conflict resolution skills. A mediating variable is a third variable that can help explain the connection between an independent and dependent variable. Buffering effects of positive friendship qualities will also be considered. Data were analyzed using an 18-year multi-method longitudinal study of 184 youth. Hierarchical regressions between family of origin predictor variables, mediators, and relationship satisfaction were performed. Interactions were also examined to analyze the moderating relationship between predictor variables, friendship quality, and relationship satisfaction. A moderating variable is one that influences the direction and/or strength between the independent and dependent variable. Results of this study indicate that high levels of family conflict are negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. Poorer conflict resolution skills showed a significant mediating effect and can be used to better understand the associations between family of origin conflict and relationship satisfaction. Additionally, results indicated that friends do serve as a buffer against the negative impact of a physically abusive father; however, the combination of poorer friendship quality and high family conflict, unexpectedly, resulted in higher relationship satisfaction.

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