Skip to content

Physiological evidence for repressive coping among avoidantly attached adults

by L. M. Diamond, A. M. Hicks, K. Otter-Henderson
Journal of Social and Personal relationships ()
Get full text at journal


By asking the subject to consider a host of potentially threatening attachment-related issues, the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) allows an assessment of different strategies for regulating the attachment system. These strategies can be assessed along the 2 dimensions of security/anxiety and deactivation/hyperactivation. The greatest inferential leaps may be in characterizing strategies as deactivating. For example, individuals using deactivating strategies often report extremely positive relationships with parents, display restricted recall of attachment memories, and play down the significance of early attachment experiences. If these descriptive features are guided by a strategy that requires diverting attention from attachment information, subjects employing this strategy should experience conflict or inhibition during the Attachment Interview. In the present study, skin conductance levels were monitored for 50 college students during a baseline period and throughout the Attachment Interview. Subjects employing deactivating strategies showed marked increases in skin conductance levels from baseline to questions asking them to recall experiences of separation, rejection, and threat from parents. This finding supports the notion that individuals employing deactivating attachment strategies experience conflict or inhibition during the Attachment Interview.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

87 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
89% Psychology
3% Agricultural and Biological Sciences
3% Medicine and Dentistry
by Academic Status
24% Student > Ph. D. Student
21% Researcher
14% Student > Doctoral Student
by Country
5% United States
1% Portugal
1% Germany

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in