Dore Lavering is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Juliet Rohde-Brown, PhD, Dissertation Chair
  • Salvador Trevino, PhD, Committee Member
  • Chelsea Gottfurcht, PsyD, Student Reviewer
  • Steven Krugman, PhD, External Expert


adult attachment, attachment style, boundaries

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Despite the multitudes of research on attachment and many different aspects of relational structures, only one study to date has researched the relationship of adult attachment to boundary thickness. The possible benefits to understanding this relationship would provide therapists and clients a better conceptualization of individual's internal working model of attachment. This study investigated the relationship between the Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire (HBQ), a measure of boundary thickness, and an adult romantic attachment measure, the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory-Revised (ECR-R) two dimensions of attachment. This study theorized that attachment anxiety would be related to thinner boundaries and conversely attachment avoidance would be related to thicker boundaries. Subjects were 89 mostly college educated adults with an average age of 42 who were recruited through Facebook and email. All of the participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the ECR-R, and the HBQ (self-report questionnaires) and given an option for debriefing via the website SurveyMonkey. My hypothesis was not supported having weak correlations between attachment anxiety to boundaries (r of .264) and attachment avoidance to boundaries (r of .077). However, upon analyzing the subscales of the HBQ with both attachment anxiety and avoidance a moderate correlation was found between attachment anxiety and unusual experiences on the HBQ(r or .4). This correlation may have greater implications for exploring self and identity within an attachment perspective and further our understanding of attachment. It would be useful to pursue this avenue of research in the future in better understand the reasons for this correlation