Previous research has demonstrated that cooperation and support between parents, called the parental alliance, is an important predictor of parent and child well-being. Consequently, it is important to understand what factors promote the formation of a strong parental alliance. Because of research on the impact of attachment security on individuals' abilities to depend and rely on others and to appropriately manage conflict, partner attachment is a potential predictor of the parental alliance, with insecure attachment negatively weakening the parental alliance. This study analyzed data from 321 couples to examine the relationship between partner attachment and the parental alliance. Using the Actor Partner Interdependence Model, results indicated that attachment was significantly associated with parental alliance scores for both husbands and wives; specifically, higher anxious attachment for wives and for husbands significantly predicted decreased parental cooperation and increased triangulation and conflict. Likewise, avoidant attachment for wives and for husbands was significantly predictive of decreased cooperation and increased triangulation and conflict. These findings point to the utility of marital therapy focusing on increasing attachment as a way to strengthen parental attachment.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bell, Ashley B., "Partner Attachment and the Parental Alliance" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 5287.
attachment, parental alliance, coparenting, triangulation, cooperation, conflict