Why are undergraduate emerging adults anxious and avoidant in their romantic relationships? The role of family relationships

Autoři: Marta Díez aff001;  Inmaculada Sánchez-Queija aff001;  Águeda Parra aff001
Působiště autorů: Dpto. Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación (Developmental and Educational Psychology), Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224159


The exploration of and search for romantic relationships is one of the developmental tasks that characterise emerging adulthood, a new developmental phase halfway between adolescence and full adulthood. This study aims to explore, in a Mediterranean country, the existing relationships between the subjective perception of some parental behaviour and the anxiety and avoidance dimensions of attachment during emerging adulthood. To do so, 1,502 university students (903 women and 599 men) aged between 18 and 29 (M = 20.32 and SD = 2.13) completed a self-report questionnaire. The results revealed that perceived family support and perceived parental warmth were negatively associated with the avoidance and anxiety dimensions. In contrast, perceived parental control (both behavioural and psychological) was found to be positively associated with both attachment dimensions. Perceived behavioural control was also found to play a moderator role between perceived parental warmth and romantic attachment anxiety. Only in cases in which emerging adults of our sample perceived low levels of behavioural control was warmth found to be negatively associated with anxiety. The main conclusion of this work is the negative impact that parental control seems to have on romantic attachment during emerging adulthood. The results are discussed with a focus on the continuing importance of the family context in relation to the completion of developmental tasks, even during emerging adulthood.

Klíčová slova:

Adults – Anxiety – Behavior – Emotions – Human families – Interpersonal relationships – Psychometrics – Undergraduates


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11