Date of Award

Spring 1993

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Kathleen McCartney


In this dissertation, links between internal working models of attachment and self-concept are examined. Attachment and self-concept researchers discuss mental models of the self and the self in relationships as cognitive processors that affect attention to social information, as well as encoding, interpretation, and recall. Although some research supports the notions of attachment and self-concept constructs, no associations between the two have been previously examined. An argument is presented that concepts of the self and models of important relationships are interdependent. This argument is empirically tested with a sample of adolescent girls and their mothers, who completed a series of attachment and self-concept measures. Daughters also completed a self-referent processing procedure, in which they responded to a series of positive, negative, and neutral words, determining which were like, unlike, or neither like nor unlike them. Results partly supported the hypothesis that concepts of the self and the self in important relationships were associated with information processing and each other. Ramifications for future research are discussed.