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Attachment Security and the Processing of Attachment-Relevant Social Information in Late Adolescence

dc.contributor.advisorCassidy, Jude Aen_US
dc.contributor.authorDykas, Matthew Jasonen_US
dc.date.accessioned2006-06-14T05:51:32Z
dc.date.available2006-06-14T05:51:32Z
dc.date.issued2006-04-26en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1903/3488
dc.description.abstractAccording to attachment theory, internal working models of attachment function to influence the ways in which individuals obtain, organize, and operate on attachment-relevant social information (Bowlby, 1980). The principal aim of this investigation was the examination of whether adolescents' internal working models of attachment are linked to their memory for attachment-relevant social information. I proposed that adolescents who possess negative internal working models of attachment (i.e., insecure adolescents and adolescents who possess negative representations of their parents) process attachment-relevant social information differently from adolescents who possess positive internal working models of attachment (i.e., secure adolescents and adolescents who possess positive representations of their parents). I also proposed that such differences are associated with two distinct patterns of attachment-relevant social information-processing. More precisely, I hypothesized that insecure adolescents and adolescents who possess negative representations of their parents are more likely to <em>suppress</em> attachment-relevant social information (from entering conscious awareness) in some circumstances, and to process attachment-relevant social information in a <em>negatively-biased schematic manner</em> in others. To test this hypothesis, I tapped adolescents' (n = 189) internal working models of attachment by assessing their "state of mind with respect to attachment" (as assessed using the Adult Attachment Interview), representations of parents, and attachment-related romantic anxiety and avoidance (as assessed using the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory). I used four experimental tasks to assess adolescents' memory for attachment-relevant social information. Many of the findings reported in this investigation can be viewed as supporting the notion that insecure adolescents and adolescents who possess negative representations of their parents either suppress attachment-relevant social information or process such information in a negatively-biased schematic manner. For example, in the experimental task that tapped suppression, insecure adolescents showed poorer memory for emotionally-significant childhood experiences. Moreover, in all three of the experimental tasks tapping schematically-driven social information-processing, insecure adolescents and adolescents who possessed negative representations of their parents showed either greater memory for negative parental attributes or more negative reconstructive memory for conflict. In addition to these principal findings, evidence emerged that adolescent attachment was linked to memory for peer-related information, as well as to parents' reconstructive memory for adolescent-parent conflict.en_US
dc.format.extent1035211 bytes
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.titleAttachment Security and the Processing of Attachment-Relevant Social Information in Late Adolescenceen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.contributor.departmentPsychologyen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledPsychology, Developmentalen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledPsychology, Developmentalen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledattachmenten_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledAAIen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledECRen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledinformation processingen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledcognitionen_US


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