College of Arts & Sciences

Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Emily Farris, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jaime Hughes, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Linda Montgomery, Ph.D.

Abstract

Recent research studies have been aimed at examining the associations between attachment styles and sexual protective health behaviors (Mikulincer, Shavpr & Pereg, 2003). However, researchers have just recently started to explore how emotional regulation skills influence interactions between couples. The current study is interested m how emotional regulation is connected to attachment style and sexual health attitudes and behaviors. The proposed study utilizes attachment style to explain how individuals view others, which then may influence their sexual health behaviors. Furthermore, when an individual possesses high emotional regulation skills, they may be better able to mediate ones’ own decisions to influence sexual health protective behaviors. A mediational model explored the mediational effect of emotional regulation between attachment orientations and sexual communication, attitudes towards condoms and amount of total partners. Emotional regulation was not found to be a successful mediator (p > .05) in any of the models. One way analysis of variance did show significant differences between participants with secure attachment orientation as compared to a fearful orientation on the outcome variables. The implications can be extended to further understanding the insecure orientation, fearful, and what approaches can be geared toward this group to decease sexual risk taking behaviors.

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