This study examined the relationship between parental attachment, changes in parental attachment, and psychological functioning and adjustment for college freshmen. Twice during the first semester, 271 freshmen completed self-report measures of parental attachment, psychological distress, self-competence, and college adjustment. Higher attachment security was associated with more positive outcomes for both men and women. Although individual differences in parental attachment remained consistent across the first semester, attachment security decreased for male students who lived at home. Students whose relationships with parents deteriorated over time had higher levels of distress and lower adjustment scores. Implications for college counselors are discussed.
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