Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Wyndol C. Furman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Galena K. Rhoades

Third Advisor

Julia O. Dmitrieva

Fourth Advisor

Stephen Shirk

Fifth Advisor

Maria Riva


Adolescence, Attachment, Romantic relationships


Research on the stability of attachment representations across the lifespan has led to two alternative perspectives: the prototype and revisionist perspectives (Fraley, 2002). The prototype perspective posits that there is a stable factor underlying fluctuations in representations and the revisionist perspective argues that there is no inherently stable factor. The current study employed a latent trait-state model to investigate these alternative models of stability and change in representations of romantic relationships in adolescence and young adulthood. The study also sought to identify individual characteristics and relationship experiences that are associated with changes in representations. In a sample of 200 participants, representations were assessed by interview and self-report over seven measurement occasions between ages 15 and 23. Results were consistent with the prototype perspective emphasizing that a stable, latent factor exerts a consistent influence over the lifespan. In addition to a stable component, representations incorporated a component that varies over time. Findings showed that this fluctuating component of representations was associated with internalizing and externalizing symptomatology as well as experiences of support and negative interaction in relationships.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Claire Stephenson Flansburg


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

59 p.



Included in

Psychology Commons