Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development



First Reader/Committee Chair

Kamptner, Laura


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between early attachment and marital satisfaction. Whereas partner attachment has been found to be related to marital satisfaction, little research has examined the relationship of early attachment to marital satisfaction. It was hypothesized that early attachment would impact the three components of marital satisfaction, i.e., communication, sexual satisfaction, and love/partner attachment in early adulthood. Participants were 35 male and 119 female college students ages 18 to 40 years (M = 27 yrs), who completed a questionnaire comprised of Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) (Spanier, 1976), the sexual satisfaction subscale from the ENRICH measure (Olson, Fournier, & Druckman, 1983), the Communications Patterns Questionnaire (CPQ) (Christensen & Sullaaway, 1984), the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA), (Armsden & Greenberg, 1987), and the Experience in Close Relationships ‑Revised (ECR ‑R) Questionnaire (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000). Results supported the hypothesized relationship between early attachment and marital satisfaction as early attachment was found to have a direct effect on partner attachment and an indirect effect on communication and sexual satisfaction. The results of this study suggest that early secure interactions between a child and caregiver promotes adult partner attachment, which in turn impacts marital satisfaction.