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Female identity is centered on interconnectedness, and it is often based on a secure attachment with the family. This study addressed the relationship between attachment and self-esteem in African American and White female college students. The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (Armsden & Greenberg, 1987) was used to assess the cognitive or affective dimensions of students' relationships with their parents and close friends. The Self-Perception Profile for College Students (Neemann & Harter, 1986) was used to measure judgments of competence or adequacy in 12 separate dimensions. Questionnaires were distributed to 139 female college students. Overall results indicated positive correlations between attachment and self-esteem. Statistically significant racial differences were found when comparing attachments to fathers. White and African American females differed significantly in their attachments to their mothers and fathers. For both groups of females, attachments to mothers were higher than attachments to fathers. Two separate discriminant analyses indicated that African American females scored higher on social acceptance, intellectual ability, and physical appearance, whereas White females scored higher on close friendships and scholastic competence. Results are discussed in terms of the specific research questions asked. (Contains 77 references.) (Author/EMK)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Adults, Attachment Behavior, Black Students, College Students, Females, Higher Education, Identification (Psychology), Individual Development, Racial Differences, Racial Identification, Self Esteem, Socioeconomic Status, Students, White Students

Autor: Evans, Karlin S.


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