Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Hans Saint-Eloi Cadely


The present study sought to explore how identity styles and attachment dimensions work together to influence internalizing behaviors (anxiety and depression) in emerging adulthood. The data for this study came from a 2017 study known as the “Identity Attachment Project”, which was supported by the College of Health Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. The analysis sample consisted of 438 participants from the University of Rhode Island who were in a romantic relationship and not already cohabitating, engaged, or married. Two multiple regression analyses were conducted to evaluate whether the identity styles and both attachment dimensions were related to depression and anxiety. Results indicated that the informational identity style, the diffuse-avoidant identity style, avoidant attachment, and anxious attachment were positively related to anxiety and/or depression. Interaction terms were also created for each identity style interacting with each attachment dimension while controlling for the remaining predictors. A total of six interaction terms (three per each model) were created but only one was significant for each model. Results indicated that individuals showing high levels of an informational identity style and an avoidant attachment style indicated higher levels of anxiety as well as higher levels of depression. These findings suggest that identity styles and attachment dimensions can work together to increase the levels of internalizing behaviors among emerging adults, particularly emerging adults in dating relationships.



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