Ashley Mendola



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Ashley Mendola, PSY499: Independent Study
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Pamela Schuetze, Psychology

Literature credits Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby as the creators and principal researchers of attachment theory. While their research mainly focused on infant and child attachment, e.g. Ainsworth's Strange Situation Procedure, the premise that the lack of a loving environment impedes development is seemingly relevant in other age groups. The transition to college and early adulthood serves as a unique "Strange Situation" in itself, and the manner in which individuals rely on their parent(s) during this stressful time can give insight into their personal parent-child dynamics. The attachment of college-age students to their parent(s) provides a foundation for the student to begin to settle into adulthood and create their own identity. The focus of this study is to determine whether or not an association exists between a college student's parental attachment and their motivation and achievement in academics. Psychology students completed an online questionnaire which gathered basic demographic information and asked questions examining participants' parental relationships, academic achievement, and motivation for school. The parental attachment dimension was measured through the use of the Parental Attachment Questionnaire (PAQ), and the academic motivation dimension was examined with the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28). Academic achievement was measured by grade point average. Regression analyses will be used to test our hypothesis that, after controlling for relevant demographic covariates, those who are securely attached to their parents will show higher levels of both motivation and achievement in their studies.

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Associations Between Parental Attachment and Academic Achievement and Motivation
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