Exploring Linkages Among Preservice Teachers' Attachment Styles and Professional Dispositions Held by Effective Educators

Open Access
Mattise, Mary Christina
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
March 17, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Jolynn Carney, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Member
  • Richard Hazler, Committee Member
  • Catherine Augustine, Committee Member
  • preservice teachers
  • classroom conflict
  • diversity
  • professional dispositions
  • teacher preparation
  • teacher turnover
  • attachment
Abstract The purpose of this study was to explore explanatory values provided by tenets of attachment theory for understanding roles that intra-and interpersonal dimensions of preservice teachers’ professional dispositions play in shaping conflict styles employed by individuals in managing student behaviors in socioculturally-diverse classrooms. Preservice teachers (N=73) enrolled in undergraduate education courses completed on-line surveys. Hierarchical regression analyzed the degrees to which school locations (rural, urban, suburban) and prior levels of exposures to sociocultural diversity (student populations, teachers, close circle of friends); attachment dimensions (anxiety, avoidance) and styles (secure, preoccupied, dismissive, fearful); and universality-diversity orientations (diversity of contact, relativistic appreciation, comfort with differences) account for variances in predicting conflict styles (integrating, compromising, obliging, dominating, and avoiding) that preservice teachers are likely to employ when responding to classroom conflict. Model 1 predictors were demographic descriptors (school locations and levels of diversity characterizing participants’ own PreK-12 education experiences); Model 2 included attachment dimensions and styles and universality-diversity orientation subscales. The degrees to which independent variables were found to account for variances in predicting conflict styles are (a) 33% for integrating styles: positive scores in anxiety attachment dimension (β= .182, ρ= .015) and relativistic concern (β= .057, ρ= .003)- negative scores for a dismissive attachment style (β= .094, ρ= .010), (b) compromising styles: no significant predictors in full regression model; negative associations between attendance in rural schools ( β= -.77, ρ= .015) in Model 1, (c) 20.1 % for obliging styles: negative scores (β= -. 208, ρ= .032) for diversity of student populations and positive scores (β= 2.68, ρ= .055), (d) 46.6% for dominating styles: negative scores for diversity of contact (β= -.044, ρ= .023) and emotional comfort with differences (β= -.054, ρ= .014), and ( e) 79% for avoiding styles: scores in dismissive attachment style (β= .082, ρ= .000).