Attachment research

Since arriving at Trinity, I have completed three studies focused on parental attachment (i.e., the parent-child bond) and its association with college student functioning. In the first two studies, I followed different cohorts of first-year students over the course of the fall semester. Students who reported higher levels of attachment with their parents were functioning better academically and socially after the first semester, in part due to their favorable attitudes about seeking academic help and stronger social skills.

Our most recent study, which I co-authored with Michelle Long (a senior thesis student), followed Trinity students from their first to last year to examine how their relationship with their parents and peers changed over time and how those changes were associated with their academic, social, and emotional functioning.


Holt, L.J.  (2014). Attitudes about helping-seeking mediate the relation between parent attachment and academic adjustment in first-year college students. Journal of College Student Development, 55, 418-423.


Holt, L.J.  (2014). Help-seeking and social competence mediate the parental attachment-college student adjustment relation. Personal Relationships, 21, 640-654.


Holt, L.J., Mattanah, J., & Long, M.W.* (2018). Change in parental and peer relationship quality during emerging adulthood: Implications for academic, social, and emotional functioning. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 743-769.

*Trinity College graduate, Class of 2015