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The role of attachment and caregiving in the emergence of generativity from early to middle adolescence


The role of attachment and caregiving in the emergence of generativity from early to middle adolescence

Lawford, Heather (2008) The role of attachment and caregiving in the emergence of generativity from early to middle adolescence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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NR42545.pdf - Accepted Version


Generativity, defined as care and concern for future generations as a legacy of the self, has typically only been studied in midlife samples (Erikson, 1959/1969). This research includes two studies that examine the presence of generative concern in early to middle adolescence. The first study examined the reliability and validity of the Loyola Generativity Scale (LGS; McAdams & de St. Aubin, 1992) as a measure of generative concern, changes in generative concern over time in adolescents (N=138) from age 14 to 16 years old, and associations of adolescent generative concern with adjustment, attachment style, parenting style, and maternal generative concern. As in studies of non-parent midlife adults, adolescents' generative concern was associated with depressive symptoms and self-esteem, and girls reported higher generative concern than boys. Adolescents' generative concern was also associated with adolescent reports of warm parenting and with maternal generative concern. Although generative concern did not increase over time, higher levels were associated with lower anxious attachment. In addition, inverse associations between attachment anxiety and generative concern were stronger for individuals who reported low avoidant attachment than when avoidance was high. Also, changes in generative concern over time were associated somewhat differently with attachment avoidance for boys than for girls. The second study examined the longitudinal associations between generative concern and caregiving behaviours towards peers in the same early to middle adolescent sample. Results indicated that early caregiving behaviours predicted generative concern one year later, while early generative concern did not predict later caregiving behaviours. Thus evidence suggests that caregiving behaviour with friends promotes the development of generative concern. In conclusion, both studies highlight the importance of studying generative concern in adolescence, and suggest that positive relationships with parents and positive behaviour with peers contribute to early generative concern. That is, both a non-anxious attachment style, as well as the caregiving behaviours appear to promote early generative concern. It is hoped that this research will contribute to promoting and maintaining generativity from adolescence into adulthood

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Lawford, Heather
Pagination:xii, 139 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Doyle, Anna-Beth
ID Code:976134
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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