Adult attachment, parenting experiences, and core beliefs about self and others

Alison Wearden, Isabel Peters, Katherine Berry, Christine Barrowclough, Tom Liversidge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to examine whether reports of parental care-giving and attachment representations were associated with the self- and other-evaluative core beliefs that are implicated in cognitive models of psychopathology. Undergraduate students (n = 389; 283 [73%] female; mean age 21.9 years, s.d. 5.25) completed questionnaire measures of attachment, self- and other-evaluative core beliefs, parental care-giving style, and negative affect. As hypothesised, with negative affect controlled for, negative self-evaluative core beliefs were correlated with anxious attachment (rs = .397, p <.001) and with inconsistent or ambivalent maternal care-giving, but the latter effect was confined to females (rs = .303, p <.001). Correlations between negative other-evaluative core beliefs, avoidant attachment and cold and rejecting parenting were rendered non-significant when negative affect was controlled for (rs = .085 and rs = .072, respectively). Warm and responsive parenting was correlated with positive self- and other-evaluative core beliefs. Our findings are consistent with a role for parenting experiences and attachment representations in the development of negative self-evaluative core beliefs, but not negative other-evaluative core beliefs. These findings may both inform our understanding of psychopathology and have implications for therapeutic relationships. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1257
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Adult attachment
  • Core beliefs
  • Parenting


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