Implicit Attachment and Couple Satisfaction
Current conceptualizations of adult romantic attachment suggest that as an explanatory construct for adult interpersonal relationships it possesses both explicit and implicit aspects. However, most attachment measures focus exclusively on the explicit components of adult romantic attachment, and the ones that access the implicit domain are either labor intensive or do so by means of indirect methods. This study sought to satisfy this gap in the literature through the development of implicit measures of accessibility and responsiveness using the Implicit Association Test. Notably, both implicit measures demonstrated support for the presence of implicit attachment security in the context of a romantic relationship, and the accessibility measure in particular emerged as a meaningful index across a variety of interrelationships. Although the effect sizes were small and neither of the implicit measures accounted for incremental variance in couple satisfaction beyond that accounted for by demographic and self-report attachment, these findings offer important empirical evidence for theoretical conceptualizations of preconscious attachment processes. They further serve to refine an approachable, non-invasive measurement of adult attachment's implicit aspects.
Furrow, James L.
Attachment behavior, Interpersonal relations, Social psychology
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