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Title:Attachment and language use in donor-conceived adults' self-narratives
Author(s):Lozano, Elizabeth B.; Fraley, R. Chris; Kramer, Wendy
donor conception
Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)
Abstract:Assisted reproduction with donor gametes (i.e., eggs, sperm) entails the formation of new kinds of families, giving rise to new concepts such as "donor,""social father," and "social mother." These ideas can be understood within an attachment theoretical framework. The present study examined whether individual differences in attachment predict language use in donor-conceived adults' self- narratives. In particular, we focused on meaning-making (McAdams & McLean 2013), in addition to three other aspects of written text: Relational words (i.e., father, dad), non-relational words (i.e., donor, sperm), and "social" parent words (e.g., "my social father always picked me up from school") that participants used to describe their donor conception experience. Data were collected from 488 donor-conceived people from the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). Results indicated no association between attachment and meaning-making, nor relational and non-relational words. However, we found that people who were anxiously attached (with respect to their close relationships in general) were more likely to endorse the term "social" parent; those who were avoidant were less likely to use this terminology when writing about their donor conception experience. These results, combined with other exploratory findings, suggests that insecurely attached DC adults may construct their narrative identities differently than their secure counterparts. Keywords: attachment, donor conception, LIWC
Issue Date:2020
Publisher:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers
Citation Info:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 43: 92-115.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-12-01

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