Relationship attributional styles, or the tendencies to attribute a partner's behavior to intrinsic (e.g., personality) or extrinsic (e.g., situational) factors, affect the way one interprets and reacts to relationship conflict and partner behavior (Fincham & Bradbury, 1992). Typically, the tendency to attribute negative behaviors as intrinsic to one's partner is considered problematic and is predictive of relationship dissatisfaction (Kimmes, Durtschi, Clifford, Knapp, & Fincham, 2015a; Fincham & Bradbury, 1992). There is little known about the origin of relationship attributional styles (Kimmes et al., 2015b), but studies have suggested that they may be parent-specific and may be transmitted intergenerationally (Benson, Arditti, Reguero de Atlies & Smith, 1992a; Werner, 2012). The current poster explores if reports of parental bonding style is associated with current relationship attribution tendencies. Preliminary correlations indicate that men who reported having more over-protective fathers in childhood tended to have more maladaptive attributional styles. Contrarily, women who reported having more caring mothers tended to have less maladaptive attribution styles. Relationship attribution style was otherwise uncorrelated with parental bonding. Our data are consistent with other findings, as a positive maternal relationship has been previously linked with less maladaptive attributional styles (Benson et al., 1992b), and paternal overprotection with separate problematic outcomes in adult sons (Yan, Han, & Li, 2016; Patock-Peckham & Morgan-Lopez, 2009).
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Iwasiutyn, Katherine and Wagner, Samantha, "My Partner or My Parents? Parent-Specific Effects on Relationship Attributional Styles" (2020). Research Days Posters Spring 2020. 36.