The avoidance cocoon: Examining the interplay between attachment and caregiving in predicting relationship satisfaction

Abira Reizer, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Phillip Shaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the present research, we examined the hypothesis that low avoidance enables the activation of the caregiving system, and therefore, among people low in avoidance, caregiving would affect relationship satisfaction, whereas among people high in avoidance, caregiving would not affect relationship satisfaction. One-hundred seventy-nine Israeli adults, currently involved in romantic relationships, participated in Study 1, in which we examined whether attachment avoidance moderated the associations between caregiving and relationship satisfaction. In Study 2, we sought to replicate this finding in a sample of Israeli couples (N=194). Finally, in Study 3 (N=44), we examined links between attachment, caregiving, and relationship satisfaction over a period of 1year among Israeli married couples. Results indicated that caregiving deactivation and/or hyperactivation predicted lower relationship satisfaction, yet only among people low in avoidance or among people whose partners were low in avoidance. Results are discussed in relation to the important interplay between behavioral systems on individual and dyadic levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-786
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

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