ABSTRACT

Recent longitudinal studies indicate that adolescents' closeness to fathers is an important consideration in predicting sexual behaviour and romantic experiences, especially among daughters (see Amato, 1994; Dittus, Gordon, & Jaccard, 1997; Ellis et aI., 2003; Quinlan, 2003 for reviews). However, it is not clear if the link between fathering and children's romantic relationship experiences persists beyond the high school years. In the current study, we survey a large undergraduate sample to explore links between young adult reliance on fathers for social support (attachment, companionship and intimacy) and their experiences in current and past romantic relationships. Additionally, we examine individual characteristics and social conditions associated with a usual attachment preference, primary attachment to fathers (Doherty & Feeney, 2004 ; Trinke & Bartholomew, 1997). Finally, we present data from 10 qualitative interviews to better describe the nature of father-daughter interactions among participants with unusually high or low reliance on fathers as attachment figures.