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The Role of Parenting and Attachment in
Identity Style Development

By: Kaylin Ratner | Mentor: Dr. Steven Berman

Abstract

The present study set investigates the role of the parent-child relationship in identity formation using a sample of 264 students collected from two high schools in the central Florida area. Maternal responsiveness fosters both the informational and normative identity style, as well as positive attachment. Such results suggest that a warm and loving maternal figure allows children to feel safe in their environment, which encourages exploration. Furthermore, positive attachment was found to significantly predict a normative identity style. Despite both responsiveness and attachment independently predicting a normative identity style, issues were raised in regards to multicollinearity of the variables utilized in this study. That is, although the measures claim to be measuring two different constructs, attachment and responsiveness do not act differently statistically.

KEYWORDS: parenting, attachment, identity style, adolescence, maternal responsiveness

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