Attachment and the Virtuous Life: Early Attachment’s Effect on Virtue Development
Much psychological research has been done on the topics of attachment and virtue, but rarely together, though studies have shown that relationships exert a tremendous effect upon virtue development. Two sets of previously gathered data were examined: standard quantitative measures of attachment and virtue completed by college students and Young Life summer camp applicants' narratives that were coded for attachment and virtue. A 5-factor structure was developed via Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis that fit Peterson and Seligman's (2004) virtue classification better than their 6-factor structure. Secure attachment positively correlated with virtue expression, and anxious and avoidant attachments correlated with comparatively less virtue expression but affected different virtues. Suggestions are given for further research, clinical, and lay applications.
Schnitker, Sarah A.
Moral development, Attachment behavior
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