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Silvia López-Larrosa
Universidad de A Coruña
Noelia Pardiño
Universidade da Coruña
Anh P. Ha
University of Notre Dame
United States
University of Notre Dame
United States
Vol. 9 No. 2 (2022), Articles, pages 267-284
Submitted: Oct 26, 2022 Accepted: Dec 2, 2022 Published: Dec 15, 2022
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This study is grounded on Systems Theory and Emotional Security Theory, and aims at extending past work by examining relations among children’s emotional security in the family system and the quality of family relationships among college students, a population scarcely addressed by the Emotional Security Theory. Participants were 236 female and male students attending a public Spanish University (meanage = 20.13 years old). We used the Security in the Family System Scale (SIFS), the Family Stress Scale, the Family Satisfaction Scale, the Bidirectional Parent-Adolescent Relationships Scale (BiPAR), and measures of destructive and constructive interparental conflict. The variables “living with family” and “parental divorce” were also studied. Results showed that parental divorce related to higher family stress, less interparental conflict resolution and worse bidirectional relationships with fathers. There were not significant differences in any of the variables under analyses between students who lived with their families while at college compared to those who did not live with their families. Emotional security in the family explained 52% of the variance of family satisfaction. This study has theoretical implications as it applies Emotional Security Theory to study young adults from divorced and intact families and who either live or not with their families while attending college. Our results agree and support this Theory. It also has practical implications for mental health and counselling services pointing to potential risk and protective family variables in college students.


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