Skip to main content
Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Love the Lord With All Thy Heart and Do As I Say: Religiosity, Intrusive Parenting, and Attachment

Presenter: Michael Guynn
Authors: Michael Guynn, Reetta Saeaeski, Youssef Harraq, Mike Bokinskie, Allyssa English, Sarah Prince, Danelle Larsen-Rife
Faculty Advisor: Danelle Larsen-Rife
Institution: Dixie State University

Relatively stable infant-parent attachments form early and predict behaviors in later relationships (Bowlby, 1969). When caregivers are inconsistent or absent in regulating their children’s emotions, children may form an insecure attachment (Ainsworth et al., 1978). Parents who develop an insecure attachment in childhood are more likely to use intrusive mechanisms to parent their children (Adam, Gunnar, & Tanaka, 2004). Intrusive parents fail to acknowledge the autonomy of their children. They make decisions for their children and use psychological control to influence their children’s behavior (Erickson et al., 1985; Barber, 1996). People also form attachment relationships with God (Beck & Mcdonald, 2004). Certain cultural and doctrinal practices in religious communities are more likely to lead to intrusive parenting (Albertsten, Connor, & Berry, 2006; Thiruchselvam et al., 2017). It is hypothesized that religiosity and intrusive parenting are associated with attachment anxiety in relationships with parents and God in participants. Participants were recruited through community announcements and social media. Study variables were assessed with the Parental Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (child and adolescent versions), Attachment to God Inventory, Duke University Religion Index, and the Multidimensional Assessment of Parenting Scale. Results from regression analysis, conclusions, and implications for prevention and intervention will be presented. Keywords:Religion, anxious attachment, intrusive parenting, Utah, LDS church, attachment