Update 11-4 TriStatePoster2016

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Update 11-4 TriStatePoster2016

  1. 1. www.postersession.com It has been hypothesized by attachment researchers that the transition to college simulates the “strange situation,” thus activating the attachment motivational system. This transition involves separation from attachment figures, causes utilization of a secure base, and exploration of a novel environment (Kenny, 1987). A substantial body of research suggests that secure attachment is related to a positive transition to college (for a meta- analysis of this body of work see Mattanah, Lopez, & Govern (2011)). The mechanisms by which attachment to parents facilitates the adjustment to college has not been fully explicated. Particular coping mechanisms may mediate the relationship between attachment and college adjustment because in studies of stressful events, attachment orientations have been linked to various coping strategies. A smooth transition to college could be facilitated by a strong parental attachment, if that attachment were to facilitate an instrumental coping style. Conversely, a more problematic transition to college could be due to a coping style that is less adaptive. Using a latent model approach, we hypothesized that a positive adjustment to college will be related to the strength of attachment to parents—and instrumental coping strategies will partially mediate this relationship. Methods Conclusions Does Instrumental Coping Mediate the Parental Attachment and College Adjustment Relationship? Anika Hansen, Alahna Keil, and Iloria Pheonix Presented at the 2016 meeting of the Tri-State Undergraduate Psychology Conference Faculty Advisor: David Bishop Figure 1. Three-variable mediation model for mothers. References College students (N=294) nearing the end of the first academic year were asked to complete instruments measuring attachment, coping, and adjustment to college. Attachment was measured with the subscales of the Parental Attachment Questionnaire (Kenny, 1987): Affective Quality of Attachment (AQR), Parental Fostering of Autonomy (PFI), and Parental Role in Providing Emotional Support (PSS). Coping was assessed using the COPE (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989). Three subscales of this instrument were chosen as indicators of general instrumental coping: Planning, Positive Reinterpretation, and Active Coping. Adjustment to college was assessed with three subscales of the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (Baker and Siryk, 1984, 1986): Social Adjustment, Personal-Emotional Adjustment, and Institutional Attachment. Structural equation modeling using AMOS 19.0 was used to model mediation separately for attachment to mother and attachment to father. Baker, R. & Siryk, B. (1984). Measuring adjustment to college. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31, 179-189. Carver, C., Scheier, M., & Weintraub, J. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267-283. Kenny, M. (1987). The extent and function of parental attachment among first-year college students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 16, 17-27. Mattanah, J., Lopez, F., & Govern, J. (2011). The contributions of parental attachment bonds to college student development and adjustment: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 565-596. The overall fit of the two-variable latent model for mothers was good: CMIN(6) =3.380, p=.760; CFI=1.00; GFI=.996; TLI=1.007; RMSEA=.000. The overall fit for the mediation model for mothers was acceptable, however the path between parental attachment and coping was not significant. The fit of the two-variable, non-mediated model for mothers was good: CMIN(21)=32.407, p=.071; CFI=.991; GFI=.975; TLI=.986; RMSEA=.041. The path diagram with standardized path coefficients for mothers is shown in Figure 1. The overall fit of the two-variable latent model for fathers was good: CMIN(6) =14.139, p=.028; CFI=.991; GFI=.984; TLI=.978; RMSEA=.069. The overall fit for the mediation model for fathers was acceptable, however the path between parental attachment and coping was not significant. The fit of the two-variable, non-mediated model for fathers was good: CMIN(21) =52.282, p=.000; CFI=.975; GFI=.961; TLI=.960; RMSEA=.069. The path diagram with standardized path coefficients for fathers is shown in Figure 2. Table 1 Zero-order correlations among indicators. Mother correlations above the diagonal; father correlations below the diagonal * Correlation sig. at the .05 level (2-tailed); ** Correlation sig. at the .01 level (2-tailed) The results of our two-variable latent analyses add to the growing body of evidence documenting that a strong parental attachment is related to a positive transition to college. Just as the child uses the security of attachment as a secure base to explore strange situations, interact with strangers, and cope with the stresses of separation, the young adult uses the security of attachment to help them negotiate the demands of the transition to college. The results of our three-variable latent analyses suggest that instrumental coping does not play a mediating role in this relationship. However, our results confirmed that instrumental coping plays an independent role in the transition to college. Future research should further explore other potential mediating variables in the parental attachment and college adjustment relationship. Introduction Results Figure 2. Three-variable mediation model for fathers. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1. Acad Adj ---- .544** .476** .201** .129* .251** .155** .213** .240** 2. Attach .544** ---- .831** .065** .172** .111 .082 .156** .138* 3. Soc Adjust .476** .831** ---- .176** .226** .179** .108 .119* .129* 4. Act Coping .201** .065 .176** ---- .389** .711** .132* .036 .064 5. Pos Reinter .129* .172** .226** .389** ---- .438** .122* .026 .112 6. Planning .251** .111 .179** .711** .438** ---- .122* .017 .088 7. PSS .185** .130* .139* .179** .135* .176** ---- .467** .729** 8. PFI .268** .275** .165** .040 .093 .068 .530** ---- .722** 9. AQR .241** .230** .171** .120* .110 .131* .791** .686** ---- AQR Mother PFI Mother e PSS Mother e e Parental Attach College Adjust Coping e Planning Pos Reinter Act Coping e e Acad Adjust Social Adjust e e Attachment e .94 .77 .61 .57 .24 .35 .83 .58 .43 .79. .89 .49 .80 e Acad Adjust Social Adjust Attachment e e e College Adjust Coping e Parental Attach AQR Father PFI Father e e e PSS Father Planning e Pos Reinter e Act Coping e .79 .87 .61 .36 .25 .64 .90 .49 .79 .74 .83 .57 .64 .38 .08 e .12 e

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