Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Psychology


Psychology & Child Development


Dr. Patrice Engle


The following study explores the factors associated with security of romantic attachment in Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs). ACOAs are more vulnerable to inconsistent parenting and consequently are more likely to develop negative internal models of self, a stable construct that affects romantic attachments (Bowlby, 1982; Ainsworth et al, 1989; Bartholomew, 1990). This study examined associations between parent, and peer relationships as possible resiliencies. It was hypothesized that ACOAs will report less secure attachments with their parents (as measured by the IPPA), less romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance (as measured by the ECR-R), and no significant difference in peer attachment (as measured by the IPPA) when compared to ACONAs. It was also hypothesized that there will be an association between peer attachments and romantic attachments for ACOAs and not for the ACONAS. One hundred forty-three undergraduate students participated in the study. An independent T-test showed no significance for the initial hypothesis. The second hypothesis was partially supported, an independent T-test showed significant findings unique to ACOAs. ACOAs with more positive peer attachments had more positive romantic attachments.