BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Date of Submission



Dr. Ayesha Zia, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


The life stage of emerging adulthood is a sensitive transitional period where support and connection with parents proves to be a key resource in setting a positive trajectory. Communication in particular is an important process that allows parent-child dyads to maintain connection and foster healthy relationships. The overlapping constructs in Communication Accommodation Theory and Attachment Theory are integrated in the present quantitative study to explore why some parent-child communication proves more fruitful than others. In addition, the construct of loneliness is included as a psychological state that is impacted by attachment and produces perceptual biases to impact communication accommodation. Six mediation models are produced to study the impact of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance on accommodation, under accommodation and overaccommodation while taking loneliness as a mediator. These constructs are measured through three validated scales; the ECR-RS, UCLA-LS and the CAS developed by Bernhold and Giles (2021). Data was collected from 405 emerging adults ranging from 18-25 years old, including 159 males and 246 females. The models for accommodation and under accommodation perfectly reflect the hypothesized relationships, accounting for about 20%-40% of the variance in dependent variables. but the models of overaccommodation produce differing results. The study supports the use of attachment as a means to study individual differences in communication accommodation. Explanations for and implications of this finding and the significant mediating role demonstrated by loneliness are explored at the end.


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