Date of Graduation

Summer 8-31-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dhara T. Meghani, PhD

Second Advisor

Taryn Vian, PhD

Third Advisor

Shannon Dodani, PsyD


Typically, attachment theory has been studied and explored with western populations. Individuals seeking mental health treatment within the United States include western and nonwestern cultural groups and research, theories and interventions that apply to diverse populations are necessary. Attachment relationships are often a part of, or reasons for clients to seek therapy either overtly or covertly, thus allowing research on attachment to better inform treatment plans and practice. An attachment relationship between a parent and child can be influenced by several factors and may change over the course of development, but little is known about this process among Indians who reside in India and Indians who immigrated to the United States. Through exploratory semi-structured interviews, the present study aimed to explore the change and maintenance of attachment relationships from childhood to adulthood from perspectives and narratives of the adult child population. Further, the study aimed to identify the factors that contribute to the change or maintenance of these relationships over time. This study focused on cross cultural differences between Indians in India and Indian migrants living in the United States, to identify between and within group differences. Hypothesized factors such as immigration, religion, career decisions as well as newly identified factors that participants shared were synthesized and analyzed using thematic analysis. Common themes (factors) that impact attachment relationships were identified through data analysis. These themes included immigration experiences, religion, family values, and the impact of siblings on an attachment relationship. An important finding in the study was that individualism and collectivism were not concrete concepts to each group as each participant’s narratives provided insight into how the sample group and population at large may not be entirely individualistic or collectivistic, allowing for a cohesion in values and preferences. The findings from the present study have potential to contribute to future studies on factors impacting attachment relationships, and also provide more insight for clinicians to develop interventions that focus on the impact of family systems, acculturation, migration, religion, communication and other factors on an attachment relationship. Also, the study’s findings are intended to further support clinical interventions and providers to accurately recognize the cultural variations between the two groups, and better serve the two groups in clinical settings.