A STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODEL INVESTIGATING PARENTAL RELATIONSHIPS AND GENDERED-FUNCTIONING AMONG MEN:
Siffert, Kevin 1978-
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Attachment theorists posit that if young boys do not have caregivers who are emotionally supportive of them, as young men they may develop unhealthy levels of autonomous functioning, and, in particular, and adopt unhealthy and restrictive masculine gender roles (i.e., gender-role conflicts; O’Neil, 1981; Shaver, 1996; Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007) or in Kohutian terminology, problematic gendered-functioning (Blazina, 2001). This study sought to extend previous investigations by: (a) explicitly examining the unique contribution of quality of attachment from each parent (PAQ; Kenny, 1987) to selfobject orientations and gendered-functioning and (b) testing the hypothesis that associations of parental relationship quality and gendered-functioning will be mediated by selfobject orientations in sample of college men. Both Kohut’s self psychology and Bowlby’s attachment theory provide a comprehensive lens for understanding how early developmental experiences (i.e., attachment provisions and selfobject needs) lead men to construct an unhealthy sense of gendered-functioning. Toward this goal, this investigation will identify important areas of overlap between attachment theory, self psychology, and masculine gendered-functioning. Early portions of the opening chapter will explore concepts central to gender role conflict and developmental theory (gender-role conflict and problematic gender-functioning will be used interchangeably throughout this study). Following this, concepts central to Kohut’s self psychology and gendered-functioning in men will be presented. Next, studies that have utilized attachment constructs towards an understanding of men's GRC will be presented. Chapter 1 will conclude with a discussion of detailed research questions and hypotheses, drawn from this review and assessed in this study. Chapter 2 will then summarize and critique of key studies in the literature that have examined interrelationships among the theoretical constructs under study. Chapter 3 will provide a detailed review of the proposed methods and analyses for conducting this investigation, followed by findings from this study. Lastly, Chapter 4 will offer a critique of the current investigation, along with key findings and directions for future research.