Date of Conferral







Patricia Loun


Previous research conducted with currently enrolled college students has suggested a relationship between secure attachment style, greater stress coping abilities, and academic success. However, there is an absence of research examining these variables as predictors of college graduation. Attachment theory was used as a theoretical framework to address this gap. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between adult attachment style, stress coping skills, and college graduation. This logistic regression study included 81 individuals who either withdrew or graduated from college within the last 4 years. Participants provided demographic information, completed the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) to measure attachment anxiety and avoidance, and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure level of perceived stress. A significant Wald statistic between attachment anxiety and college graduation indicated that as attachment anxiety increased, participants were less likely to graduate. However, there was not a significant relationship between attachment avoidance and college graduation. A significant Wald statistic between stress coping skills and graduation indicated that as the level of perceived stress increased, participants were less likely to graduate. When the predictor variables of attachment anxiety and stress coping skills were paired together, neither variable added uniquely to the prediction of graduation. Social change implications could include the development of educational, counseling, and stress reduction programs for students who are at risk of withdrawing from college, which may help increase college retention.