The roles of early parental loss and quality of parent-child attachment on daily well being and stressor reactivity during adulthood
AuthorHorn Mallers, Melanie Carol
AdvisorAlmeida, David M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe negative impact of parental death and divorce, and poor quality parental affection, during childhood is well documented. However, little information exists regarding the impact of these early childhood experiences of disrupted parental social support on well being during adulthood. Using attachment theory and the model of allostatic load, the present study examined daily physical health and mood, and stressor reactivity, in a sub-sample of participants (N = 368) from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). Descriptive analyses indicate that respondents from non-intact families, specifically those from divorced families, had more daily health symptoms and greater levels of negative mood during adulthood, as compared to those from intact families. Regression analyses indicate that subjective ratings of mother-child relationship quality or affection during childhood were significant predictors of daily well being during adulthood. To assess daily stressor reactivity within individuals over time, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM; Bryk & Raudenbush, 1992) was used. Reactivity is estimated by fitting a within-person model that assesses the daily covariation of daily mood and physical health and the occurrence of daily stressors. HLM analyses indicate that respondents who reported low maternal affection during childhood are more emotionally reactive to stressors that involve other people. Implications for understanding developmental pathways involved in linking early life experiences to adulthood outcomes are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Sciences