Contribution of student and instructor relationships and attachment style to school completion

J Genet Psychol. 2009 Mar;170(1):53-71. doi: 10.3200/GNTP.170.1.53-72.


The authors investigated how student-student friendships, student-teacher relationships, and attachment styles link to General Educational Development program completion among 127 women and 117 men. Students' relationships with students and instructors, as well as secure attachment style were positively associated with earning a GED. After statistical control for demographic variables, hierarchical logistic regression analyses demonstrated that both student-student friendships and student-instructor relationships positively predicted attachment and subsequent General Educational Development program completion. The overall model, which correctly classified 85.7% of the cases, was statistically reliable in distinguishing between those people who earned GEDs and those who did not. In addition, 2-way analyses of variance revealed that those who had secure attachment styles had better relationships with their fellow students and instructors. The results extend J. Bowlby's (1969, 1973, 1988), M. D. S. Ainsworth's (1989), and T. Hirschi's (1969) theoretical notions that attachment positively influences learning-related outcomes. Educational professionals can use these results to inform instructional efforts and promote optimal learning environments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Faculty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Object Attachment*
  • Social Support
  • Student Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*