This study tested a model of early adulthood romantic relationships as moderators of the effects of early caregiving experiences in predicting life satisfaction, romantic relationship quality, and depression/anxiety in later adulthood. Participants (n = 83) were a subsample from a 35-year longitudinal study of risk and adaptation. The quality of early caregiving was measured using a composite of infant attachment at 12 and 18 months, maternal supportive presence and hostility at 24 and 42 months, and maternal verbal and emotional responsivity at 30 months were included. The quality of early and later adulthood romantic relationships was assessed from in-depth interviews conducted with participants at ages 23 and 32. Life satisfaction was measured at age 32. Depression/anxiety symptoms were measured at ages 23, 26, and 32. Results indicated that early adulthood romantic relationships moderate early caregiving to predict trajectories of depression/anxiety symptoms between ages 23-32, but not the single measures of life satisfaction and romantic quality at age 32. The depression/anxiety findings are consistent with the organizational-developmental principle that individual functioning is a product of one's developmental history and current circumstances, and offer a possible interpretation for the null interaction effects obtained in the life satisfaction and romantic quality analyses. Results underscore the importance of taking a developmental perspective on turning point phenomena.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. diseertation. August 2011. Major: Child Psychology. Advisors:W. Andrew Collins and Jeffry A. Simpson. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 95 pages, appendices 1-4.
Salvatore, Jessica Elizabeth.
Moderating processes in the link between early caregiving and adult individual and romantic functioning: the distinctive contributions of early adult romantic relationships..
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