Abstract

Relationship initiation is an integral part of romantic relationship development and a key developmental task of emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2004). In addition, relationship initiation practices (such as dating) have the capacity to impact the fluctuating levels of attachment insecurity (whether anxiety or avoidance) that an individual experiences over the course of emerging adulthood (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). In the present study, I utilized latent growth curve modeling to examine whether certain dating variables (first dates, second or more dates, relationship breakups, dateless weeks) compiled over a 32 week dating history, as well as age and gender could predict change in attachment anxiety and avoidance over four time points in a sample of 309 Latter-day Saint (LDS) emerging adults. Results indicate that dateless weeks and second or more dates predicted the rate of change (i.e. slope) of attachment anxiety and that the overarching model accounted for 25% of the variance in the slope of anxiety. Findings also showed that age predicted initial levels (i.e. intercept) of attachment anxiety and that gender predicted initial levels of attachment avoidance. Findings were discussed in terms of theoretical significance and clinical application.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2013-06-27

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd6342

Keywords

relationship initiation, emerging adulthood, dating, attachment

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