Constructions of early parenting, intimacy and autonomy in young women
This study explores relations between young women's patterns of intimacy and autonomy and their constructions of early relationships with their parents. Based on Bowlby's (1973) notion of the 'internal working model' of attachment, it was predicted that women evidencing intimacy in current relationships would construct perceptions of their parents as having been accepting. It also was hypothesized that women exhibiting greater autonomy in their everyday functioning would describe their parents as having afforded them more encouragement of independence than those displaying less autonomy. Intimacy was measured using the Revised Intimacy Interview (Levitz-Jones & Orlofsky, 1985) and autonomy measures included the General Causality Orientation (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and Self-Reliance (Greenberger et al., 1974) scales. Results suggest that, as predicted, women displaying intimate relationships perceived their fathers as having been more accepting than those evidencing either enmeshed (merger) or superficial relationships. Further, autonomy was tied to constructions of support for independence by mothers and fathers. The findings shed light on the underlying dynamics and defenses of individuals displaying different patterns of intimacy and autonomy.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
autonomy, intimacy, parenting
Dresner, Rachel and Grolnick, Wendy S., "Constructions of early parenting, intimacy and autonomy in young women" (1996). Psychology. 491.