Attachment dimensions and love in the development of close relationships (1990)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This longitudinal study examined the role of Hazan and Shaver's (1987) attachment theory of romantic love in the development of close relationships of fifty-one couples in steady or serious dating relationships. The relations of attachment dimensions (Avoidant, Ansious/ambivalent, and Secure) to distal and proximal variables was explored. Results showed that more Avoidant and more Anxious/ambivalent subjects had more negative perceived attachment histories, and were more depressed; while more Avoidant subjects had a lower level of relationship satisfaction. More Anxious/ambivalent subjects also produced more negative descriptions of their relationships. The relationship was examined four months later, when relationship satisfaction and the attachment dimensions were again measured. Relationship satisfaction was the most powerful predictor of relationship dissolution, while the attachment dimensions were not related to relationship dissolution. Against predictions (at Time One), attachment dimensions were not associated with any change in the level of relationship satisfaction, but relationship satisfaction (Time One) was associated with a change in the Avoidant and Secure attachment dimensions. Finally, more Avoidant and more Secure subjects who were higher in relationship satisfaction perceived their partners to be similar to themselves in attachment dimensions, although there was no "actual" similarity between the couples (regardless of relationship satisfaction). General implications are drawn, and Hazan and Shaver's attachment theory of romantic love is reappraised both theoretically and methodologically. Suggestions are proffered for future research.
KeywordsAttachment behavior--Longitudinal studies; Intimacy (Psychology)--Longitudinal studies; Love--Longitudinal studies; Interpersonal relations--Longitudinal studies
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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