Adjustment Factors of Attachment, Hope, and Motivation in Emerging Adult Well-Being

Abstract

We studied direct and indirect associations of attachment, trait hope, and motivations in narrative identity (agency and communion) with measures of well-being during emerging adulthood. Our aim was to determine whether hope and expressed motivations serve as mechanisms between attachment and well-being. We focused on emerging adults, for whom attachment, character, and narrative identity are well-developed and salient for developmental challenges of identity development and clarity for one’s life direction. In Study 1, college- and community-recruited adults (N = 366) wrote autobiographical narratives about future goals and self-reported attachment, hope, and well-being. Results supported indirect effects between attachment and outcomes of future goal agency and well-being via hope, as well as an indirect effect between hope and the outcome of personal growth via future goal agency. In Study 2, college adults (N = 288) wrote autobiographical narratives of their college transition experiences and self-reported attachment, hope, and well-being. Results supported indirect effects between attachment and outcomes of college transition communion and measures of well-being via hope, as well as an indirect effect between hope and the outcome of recent stress via college transition communion. Findings suggest the importance of hope as a mechanism linking emerging adults’ attachment with well-being. Findings also suggest benefits to quantifying autobiographical narratives alongside self-reports to inform well-being across adult development.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available in the Open Science Foundation website at https://osf.io/8cgde/?view_only=592948525fe74c98acfb0d0fb4221cd3.

Notes

  1. 1.

    As described in the analytical plan, tests of measurement invariance by recruitment group and by gender were conducted and are presented in the Supplemental Materials.

  2. 2.

    Additional tests of measurement invariance by gender were conducted and are presented in the Supplemental Materials.

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Booker, J.A., Dunsmore, J.C. & Fivush, R. Adjustment Factors of Attachment, Hope, and Motivation in Emerging Adult Well-Being. J Happiness Stud (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00366-5

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Hope
  • Agency
  • Communion
  • Well-being