Creative Commons License

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

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


David Szwedo

Bryan K. Saville

Tracy E. Zinn


It has been well established that the early attachment relationship a child forms with their parent or caregiver is foundational in influencing subsequent relationships throughout life. Adolescence itself is also a critical developmental period for future relationship development. The current study therefore was interested in examining ways in which attachment orientations youth carry into adolescence combine with parental influences to shape teens’ future relational behaviors and attitudes in young adulthood. Specifically, the parental influences of promotion of autonomy and positive relatedness, as well as parental valuing of prosocial behaviors and self-directed behavior during adolescence were investigated in interaction with early attachment orientations to gain a more nuanced understanding of motivations of self-sacrificing behaviors in young adult romantic relationships. Further, this study aimed to examine the subsequent consequences of self-sacrificing behaviors on overall romantic relational quality and personal well-being. Results suggest a mix of conflicting and corroborating evidence for the proposed hypotheses. The current findings have important implications for understanding the developmental effects that attachment orientations and parental influences have on future relational behavior and quality, as well as understanding the role of self-sacrificing behaviors on relationship and individual health.



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