Date of Award

Fall 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Melchert, Timothy

Second Advisor

Bardwell, Rebecca

Third Advisor

Griffin, Robert


A growing body of descriptive and experimental research evidence and theoretical analysis suggests that attachment security, an inner confidence or sense that one's self and others are reliably available, sensitive, responsive and effect sources of support through difficult times, may prompt compassionate thoughts, feelings, values and behavior consistent with the Golden Rule. The current research contributes to this important body of scientific research by positing, testing, and as appropriate revising a theoretically and empirically meaningful structural model that outlines justifiable direct and indirect paths through which dispositional attachment security, developmentally transmitted in part across and within generations by one's caregivers, are translated into one's dispositional caregiving style, morally-relevant values, prosocial personality characteristics, and, ultimately, prosocial behavior.