A Longitudinal Investigation of Object Relations: Child-Rearing Antecedents, Stability in Adulthood, and Construct Validation

Anthony D. Bram, Sheryle J. Gallant, Chris Segrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object relations theories posit that a child's relationship with caregivers has implications for subsequent relationships. Object relations refer to mental representations of relationships. Longitudinal data and Westen's (1993) methodology were employed to investigate questions related to (a) child-rearing antecedents of adult object relations in a nonclinical population, (b) temporal stability of adult object relations, and (c) construct validation. A multivariate effect of child-rearing variables on adult object relations was found, and significant univariate effects were nearly all in the predicted direction. Temporal stability (across 10 years) of adult object relations received tentative support. Object relations correlated positively with interpersonal functioning and physical health, but these correlations tended to be nonsignificant. A positive relationship between object relations and psychological health was not found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-188
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child-rearing
  • Interpersonal functioning
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Object relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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