This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Daughter-to-Father Attachment, Daughter-to-Mother Attachment and Emotion Regulation in College Females




Pearce, Courtney

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1982/1969, 1973) and its relation to affect regulation has become an important area of research over the last several decades. This area of research is important due to the fact that fathers are slowly emerging as more salient attachment figures than past research demonstrated. Past research has demonstrated that a daughter’s attachment to her mother and father can affect her psychosocial development (Grossman et al., 2002), autonomy (Kenny & Gallagher, 2002), emotional expressivity (Ducharme, Doyle, & Markiewicz, 2002), affect regulation (Braungart-Rieker et al., 2001), as well as later attachment security (Allen et al., 2004). The purpose of the present study was to assess how a daughter’s attachment to her father may affect her ability to regulate her emotions, and whether that relationship is moderated by a daughter's attachment to her mother. The results of the current study found that a significant relationship did exist between how a daughter is attached to her father and her ability to regulate emotions. This same relationship was found for maternal attachment. However, when examining both maternal and paternal attachment together, daughter-to-mother attachment was no longer significant. Finally, daughter-to-mother attachment was not found to moderate the relationship between daughter-to-father attachment and female emotion regulation. The findings from this study add to the limited existing literature of daughter-to-father attachment and its relation to emotion regulation. Also, the results of the current study demonstrate the significance of paternal attachment in later adulthood when examining female emotion regulation. This research could be replicated and expanded upon to assess reliability and whether or not the findings are consistent within different age brackets of females.