Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes Index

More PsychNotes: Parenting

July 1, 2015        
print

Secure Attachment to Parents Improves College Adjustment
by Monica A. Frank, PhD

A teenager's ability to adjust to college may begin in early childhood and is moderately influenced by the relationship with the parent. An analysis of over 150 research studies shows that college students who have a secure attachment style with parents have a greater level of adjustment to being away at college (Mattanah, et al., 2011).

Secure attachment refers to the ability to trust that caregivers are available to them and they can depend upon them when needed. Keep in mind, however, that dependency of children is often confused with attachment. Dependency refers to an excessive need for parental involvement and is considered insecure attachment due to the unhealthy nature of the relationship.

college student
Developmental theory indicates two points in life where children work on the issue of separation for the parents. The first point is around age two and the other is the late teens when children are leaving home for college. The success of separation during the college years is often dependent upon what children have learned previously in the earlier stage of development.

At age two children are beginning to explore the world. However, their success is based upon secure attachment to the parent. If the child has learned that the parent is emotionally and physically available, they use the parent as a home base. For example, if a child is placed in a room full of toys with the parent sitting in a corner of that room, the child with a secure attachment will explore the room but will keep an eye on the parent and occasionally return to the parent. A child with insecure attachment may instead fearfully cling to the parent.

Some of the causes of insecure attachment include physical or emotional neglect, inconsistency of primary caregivers (numerous babysitters), separation from primary caregiver, or traumatic experiences.

The college student with a secure attachment is able be independent while knowing the parent is available, if needed. Such a college student is less likely to be involved in destructive activities while away, is more likely to be engaged socially, and is able to maintain good study habits and grades.

Mattanah, J.F., Lopez, F.G., Govern, J.M. (2011). The Contributions of Parental Attachment Bonds to College Student Development and Adjustment: A Meta-Analytic Review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 565–596. DOI: 10.1037/a0024635


Questions and Comments


All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training