Kristi Mendenhall, M.P.A.
Education: Bachelor of Science in family studies and human services (May 2011)
Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (May 2011)
Master of Public Administration from Kansas State University
McNair Project: Attachment and Conflict Resolution Styles of Emerging Adult Romantic Relationships: An Inter-Generational Link? (2010)
Mentor: David Thompson, Ph.D.
Several factors affect the formation and quality of relationships of emerging adults. This study examines three: self-construal (the view of yourself as separate or in conjunction with others and relationships), conflict resolution/management styles, and attachment in the context of emerging adult romantic relationships. A point of particular interest was the possibility that these three variables were transmitted intergenerationally and thus consistent between parent and child. Also, this study sought to investigate Attachment and Self-Construal as determinants of Conflict Resolution style. Conflict resolution/management styles were measured using the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II. The 24-item Self-Construal Scale and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Scale were also used. This last scale was used to measure the two dimensions of attachment: Avoidance and Anxiety. After gathering data from a convenience sample of students (N=323) and their parents (N=6l3) via a written survey, the results were compiled and analyzed. Data analysis regarding the possibility of a correlation between certain attachment styles and self construals with certain conflict resolution/management styles in emerging adult romantic relationships is currently incomplete. Also incomplete is analysis regarding the intergenerational transmission of self-construal and conflict resolution styles; however, analysis regarding the transmission of attachment is conclusive. Attachment displayed a strong correlation from mother to child, and therefore, it can be concluded that attachment is transmitted intergenerationally. Options for future research as well as applications for helping professions are provided.