The coherence of dyadic behavior across parent-child and romantic relationships as mediated by the internalized representation of experience

G. I. Roisman, S. D. Madsen, K. H. Henninghausen, L. A. Sroufe, W. A. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attachment theory suggests, first, that patterns of dyadic behavior cohere across salient relationships and, second, that such linkages are mediated by working models, defined as cognitive/emotional representations of relationships abstracted from dyadic experience. In this longitudinal study, adolescents' (age 19) Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) coherence ratings and classifications (e.g. working model proxies) were related prospectively to their observed dyadic behaviors with romantic partners in young adulthood (age 20-21). Results demonstrated significant associations between adolescents' representations of their relationships with parents and the later quality of their interactions with romantic partners. Next, a model was tested whereby participants' working models, as inferred from the AAI, mediate the across-time correlation between a subset of observationally assessed parent-child dyadic behaviors (age 13) and the romantic relationship behaviors of these participants eight years later in young adulthood (age 20-21). Results of mediational analyses were consistent with the fundamental tenet of the organizational-developmental model that salient parent-child experiences are internalized and carried forward into adult relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-172
Number of pages17
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Adolescent working models
  • Attachment theory
  • Child experiences
  • Dyadic behavior patterns
  • Parent
  • Young adults' romantic relationships

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