Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

Abstract

This was a mixed method two phase explanatory study of attachment, peer rejection and gender in a non-clinical middle school population. The purpose of the study was to illustrate the relationship between these variables with the assumption that there would be differences in attachment style between rejected and non-rejected students and further differences by gender. The Behavioral Systems Questionnaire (BSQ) and the Children's Self-Experience Questionnaire-Self-Report (CSEQ-SR) were utilized to determine interview subjects. A Parent Demographic Form provided background, life experience and social functioning information. There were challenges in the use of both instruments for this study's purposes. Although there were more secure non-rejected students than rejected, there were also insecure students who were non-rejected. Overall there were few students of either gender indicated as rejected by the CSEQ-SR, but parent report indicated more rejected students, especially female. There were insufficient students in each attachment category to make a rejected and gender comparison. However, the study was useful for its detailed description of middle school socialization-its risks and resilience, qualitative validation of gender differences in the incidence of relational aggression, and gender similarities in terms of caring family and community relationship as well as indications of parent-student anxiety within the middle school experience.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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