Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Patricia Smiley

Reader 2

Deborah Burke

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@2018 Ellen A Carlson



This study seeks to explore mental representations of caregiving, an area of attachment that has been the subject of relatively little research. The Caregiving Styles Questionnaire (CSQ) was developed as a cost effective and efficient alternative to lengthier caregiving interviews, and this study examines its internal and external validity. An initial item critique was used to examine underlying constructs of the measure. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a three factor structure, which was replicated in a subsequent EFA using a data set that differed primarily in the age of the target child. The three factors included (1) Relationship uncertainty, (2) Needy uncertainty, and (3) Rejecting representations of caregiving. Each of these scales had high reliability, and the results reflected existing caregiving representations that have been theorized in previous studies. These findings, particularly the generalizability of the measure across age groups, indicate that it would be worthwhile to continue refining the CSQ items in order to provide a valid measure of an understudied behavioral system.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.