Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Walter Buboltz


Psychological reactance is a construct that motivates people to restore lost or threatened freedoms (Brehm, 1966). Research is beginning to show that psychological reactance may be related to family of origin dynamics. Autonomy is developed through a secure attachment. Dowd (1993) stated that autonomy is fostered by an optimal level of reactance, and one's personal identity is dependent on the development of a flexible autonomy. This study explored the relationship between psychological reactance and attachment. Additionally, research has suggested that level of reactance may be related to level of autonomy. This relationship was empirically explored. Participants were assessed using the Therapeutic Reactance Scale (TRS), the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA), and The Adjective Checklist. The results failed to indicate that reactance, attachment, and autonomy were interrelated but did support the relationship between reactance and autonomy.