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Undergraduate Research Showcase

Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

The Psychology of Platonic Relationships


My name is Amber Heinig and I am from Tampa Florida. I came to Orlando to pursue a psychology degree first by going to Valencia to achieve my AA. After Valencia, I am heading to UCF to gain my bachelors, and after UCF I plan to go and get my masters. My research was focused on the psychology of platonic relationships because I find that those relationships are often overlooked compared to the romantic. I think platonic relationships hold more weight than they are given credit for. After Valencia, I want to continue researching, especially on this topic because It is what I am passionate about. I want to move forward and succeed in my career. I hope to make a difference, even if that means that I just end up helping one person.


ABSTRACT:   The purpose of this study is to see if early childhood attachments influence our adulthood attachments. Previous research on parenting styles demonstrates a direct correlation between secure children and their ability to form healthy romantic relationships later in life. However, our understanding of friendships and their importance in adulthood is less understood. Our research question is “does parenting attachment style impact our ability to form adult friendships?”. To answer this question, we surveyed people to get a sense of how one’s relationship with their parents has possibly affected their platonic relationships. Based on our research, we predict that platonic relationships develop in correlation to our romantic styles. Where romantic relationships are heavily influenced by parenting styles, platonic relationships may or may not develop in such a linear way.


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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Melonie Sexton

Professor of Psychology

Downtown Campus

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