Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Robert G. Wahler

Committee Members

Jack M. Barlow, Jenny Macfie, Vey M. Nordquist


The current project examines the relationships between attachment security, parenting style, and mindfulness. The level of mindfulness an individual demonstrates is argued to mediate the relationship between an individual’s attachment security and her respective parenting style. The population is composed of 35 mothers who were drawn from a university clinic setting. Measures utilized included: the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ), which measures adult attachment security, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), which measures the level of mindfulness an individual demonstrates, and the Parental Authority Questionnaire – Revised (PAQ-R), which measures parenting style attitudes. Results demonstrated no significant relationships between attachment security and parenting style. In examining the relationship between attachment security and mindfulness, individuals designated securely attached demonstrated higher levels of mindfulness than their insecure counterparts. With respect to mindfulness and its relationship with parenting style, mindfulness was positively correlated with an authoritative parenting style but did not demonstrate a significant relationship with either an authoritarian or a permissive parenting style. A test of mediation was conducted to examine the relationship between attachment security and parenting style, with mindfulness as the mediator. The model evidenced a significant reduction in the relationship between attachment security and an authoritative parenting style, suggesting that mindfulness successfully mediated this relationship. Mediation was not found in the case of the permissive and authoritarian styles. Discussions of the methodological approach, the implications of these findings, and future directions for research are presented.

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Psychology Commons