Date of Award

6-20-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Lisa Christiansen, PsyD

Second Advisor

James Lane, PhD

Abstract

This research project examined the extent to which an individual’s attachment style, measured via the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000), is related to early, formative experiences of religious involvement, as well as particular religious orientations. This study drew 132 mostly Caucasian participants, who were diverse in terms of age, gender, and education. Data were collected via online survey, which gathered responses to a demographic form, the Religious Practices Questionnaire, and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire. Researchers hypothesized that participants whose religious orientation and involvement mirrors that of their primary caretakers during the participant’s upbringing (“same” group) will display significantly less attachment-related avoidance and anxiety than those with differing religious views (“different” group). Results indicated that there were no significant differences between the “same” and “different” groups in terms of attachment-related avoidance or anxiety. Also, religious and non-religious groups were not different in this regard, either. Potential explanations of the results, discussion of limitations, as well as ideas for future research are discussed within the manuscript.

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